When Leonard Bernstein died in 1990 at the age of 72, music lovers the
world over mourned the loss of one of the 20th century's artistic giants.
In addition to his role as conductor, composer, educator and performing
artist, Bernstein was one of the early pioneers in bringing the arts to
television. As such, he became one of the most internationally recognized
musical personalities in the world.
Yet in spite of the existence of vast quantities of visual material, the
two-hour film "The Infinite Variety of Leonard Bernstein" is the first
full-scale biographical film portrait of the musician. The spine of the
film is Bernstein's own narrative. Supplementing this are recollections
from friends, family, artistic collaborators and others who provide a
historically critical perspective on his work and career. An equally
important element is the integration of Bernstein's compositions throughout
the film. Through his television specials as an educator, as well as
through the orchestral works he conducted for television, the film also
provides a rich, varied and insightful reflection on Bernstein's