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'The Power of Music' explores Leonard Bernstein's life, Jewish identity and social activism

Wooden blocks that are part of Samples of Faith, an interactive multimedia display in the exhibition.
Leonard Bernstein is headed back to Brandeis.

The exhibition “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music” will be on view from October 4 to November 20. Organized by the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, the exhibition includes artifacts and photographs — on loan from the composer’s family and other collections — that explore his life, Jewish identity and social activism. Additional materials from Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections document Bernstein’s time at Brandeis as a member of the music faculty and the Board of Trustees.

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, features stations for listening to Bernstein’s music, viewing documentary films of Bernstein conducting, and excerpts from “West Side Story.” One of its many innovations is Samples of Faith, an interactive multimedia display that encourages visitors to peel back the many layers of Bernstein’s compositions, including their roots in his early years in Boston.

Audiences may be familiar with Bernstein’s works but not necessarily how his music was informed by the political and social crises of his day. Visitors will find an individual who expressed the restlessness, anxiety, fear and hope of an American Jew living through World War II and the Holocaust, Vietnam, and turbulent social change around the world.

Spingold Theater Center’s Dreitzer Gallery houses the main part of the exhibition, with additional materials in Slosberg Music Center and Shapiro Admissions Center. It is open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Learn more about this exhibition.

Categories: Faculty, Events
Date: October 12, 2018