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Dearest LennyLetters from Japan and the Making of the World Maestro$
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Mari Yoshihara

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190465780

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190465780.001.0001

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The World According to the Maestro

The World According to the Maestro

(p.169) 17 The World According to the Maestro
Dearest Lenny

Mari Yoshihara

Oxford University Press

In the mid-1980s, as Leonard Bernstein looked ahead at what he wanted to accomplish in his remaining years, his artistic and professional priorities became clear. Along with his continued commitments as a composer and a conductor, Bernstein decided to prioritize education as his mission. He also continued his activism to address the AIDS crisis. His defiance of the US government took another phase in November 1989, when he rejected the National Medal for the Arts in protest of the National Endowment for the Arts’ withdrawal of funding for an art show dealing with the theme of AIDS. In the meantime, the end of the Cultural Revolution and the opening of China’s door to the West led many musicians to seek artistic exchanges, and Amberson began to explore the possibility of the maestro’s visit to China.

Keywords:   Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story, education, AIDS, National Endowment for the Arts, National Medal for the Arts, China, Cultural Revolution

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