Program Details

Jewish Identity in the Music of Leonard Bernstein

Thomas Cimarusti, Ph.D.
Video Catch-up

Course Description

Leonard Bernstein is one of the most important conductors in American history. As a conductor, composer, pianist, music educator, author, and humanitarian, Bernstein maintained a lifelong involvement with Judaism, composing several works with religious themes, including his "Symphony No. 3" (“Kaddish”) and the "Chichester Psalms" a choral work with Hebrew text. Join Dr. Thomas Cimarusti, Professor of Music History, as he explores Bernstein's music, faith, and hope for humanity. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to watch the recently released feature film "Maestro" as an introduction to the composer's life. Cimarusti will explore and demonstrate how music can reinforce one's identity, religious convictions, and life philosophy. This lecture will include excerpts played on the piano, and a handout will be disseminated on the day of the lecture. "Outstanding lecture/demonstration by a personable, outstanding teacher" OLLI Patron

About the Instructor

  • Thomas M. Cimarusti, Ph.D., is a Professor of Music History at Florida Gulf Coast University. He has lectured at various campuses across the country including Florida State University, Utah Valley University, and Texas Tech University. With an interest in 18th and 19th-century music, Cimarusti has presented conference papers and has published on the topics of Mozart, Beethoven, Italian opera, and chamber music in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. His current research interest concerns the musical culture of the Koreshans, a Utopian group that settled in Estero, Florida in the late 19th century.