Leonard Bernstein: Google celebrates the composer's 100th birthday with a Doodle

26 August 2018, 19:28 | Updated: 20 June 2022, 11:39

Leonard Bernstein's 100th Birthday Google Doodle

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

This weekend, Google is celebrating the 100th birthday of American composer, conductor, pianist, author and music lecturer Leonard Bernstein with a special Doodle.

Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday has been marked with an animated Google Doodle.

The doodle follows a young Bernstein growing up through music, from learning to play the piano through to composing his first piece of music. The score of his hit musical West Side Story plays in the background.

Many people believe West Side Story is the pinnacle of musical theatre achievement, thanks to the way it blurred the lines between musical and opera. Hugely challenging to sing and perform, West Side Story still became one of the biggest musicals of all time thanks to Bernstein’s miraculous tunes.

Besides West Side Story, Bernstein earned fame through his role as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. He was also a guest conductor with some of the world's greatest orchestras, including the Boston Symphony.

A keen Mahler fan, the conductor was a key figure in reviving the music of the late-romantic composer. He won one of his 16 Grammy Awards for a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 9 with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Throughout his lifetime, Bernstein championed those with no voice. From featuring the works of new American composers to establishing his own Academy for the Love of Learning, he was always campaigning for something.

This is what he said in a New York Philharmonic concert when he learned that President Kennedy had been assassinated: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

Bernstein died on 14 October 1990, at the age of 72 in New York City.