Beyond "Maestro": Leonard Bernstein's Art, Jewishness and Legacy

Classes will take place Thursdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET from May 2-23. All registrants will receive recordings of the classes.

Bradley Cooper’s Oscar-nominated film “Maestro” introduced a new generation to the life and genius of Leonard Bernstein, one of the most important Jewish-American icons of the 20th century. But the movie mostly focused on Bernstein’s family life.

In this new online course, University of Arizona Prof. Matthew Mugmon — a leading scholar on Bernstein’s art and Jewishness — will dive deeper into the legend’s body of work, the ways he influenced American musical culture and how his Jewish identity was infused into almost every aspect of his career.

Over the series of four classes, Prof. Mugmon will dig into topics such as Bernstein’s reverence for Gustav Mahler, another Jewish giant of classical music history; Bernstein’s musical theater work, which co-existed in tension with his classical oeuvre; and Bernstein’s personal politics, which were informed by his Jewish background.

If you’re looking to go beyond “Maestro” and learn more about Bernstein’s musical and Jewish legacy, this is the course for you.

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About your instructor

Matthew Mugmon is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Arizona and one of the country’s leading scholars on the work of Leonard Bernstein. He has served as the New York Philharmonic’s Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence, and his research has appeared in the Journal of Musicology, Music & Letters, the Journal of Musicological Research, and the essay collection “Rethinking Mahler.” His monograph “Aaron Copland and the American Legacy of Gustav Mahler” was published in 2019 by the University of Rochester Press.