An exploration of Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade for Violin and Orchestra (after Plato’s Symposium)

Leonard Bernstein, a great American composer, was born in 1918 near Boston and died in 1990 in New York.  August 25, 2018 would have been his 100th birthday.  In 1954, he wrote a piece for violin solo, string orchestra, harp and percussion called the Serenade based on Plato’s Symposium.  Plato’s Symposium is one of the earliest books devoted to the subject of love.  The first time I heard the Serenade I didn’t love it, but that’s quite normal for me — I need time to get to know something before I can leap to loving it.   Now, having studied and lived with it for a little while, I think it’s one of the most brilliant pieces for violin and orchestra.  So I wanted to make this website to help you get there faster.  I hope you’ll explore the site, listen and learn about Bernstein and come to love this piece as much as I do.     –Sharon  (p.s. to use this site most effectively and be able to listen to the embedded recordings, download Spotify)