Just before the Pacific Music Festival for young musicians was inaugurated in June 1990, Leonard Bernstein fell seriously ill. But despite his doctors' warnings, he refused to let his "kids" down and flew to Japan. With unbelievable intensity, passion, wit and charm, Bernstein worked with the youth orchestra on Schumann's Symphony No. 2, one of his favorite orchestral pieces.
This historic program is the last visual record of the Maestro at work shortly before his death four months later.
Leonard Bernstein's unrivaled ability to inspire young musicians is well documented in his acclaimed works which include The Young People's Concerts and in seminars for young musicians at Tanglewood and Salzau. Therefore, Leonard Bernstein was the first choice to conduct a similar summer academy in Asia.
His enthusiastic acceptance led to the founding of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. Rigorous auditions were held, and young musicians were brought together to form an orchestra. They were chosen from all the nations bordering on the Pacific: the U.S., Canada, the South American countries, China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, etc.
This insightful program is a testament to Leonard Bernstein's lifelong desire to share his musical knowledge with the young, and by doing such his great legacy continues to grow as he is warmly remembered by all whom he touched as a conductor, composer, and perhaps foremost, as a teacher who truly conveyed the joy of music.