Sony Music Celebrates Leonard Bernstein's 85th Birthday With Two 3-CD Collections

The 85th birthday of American music icon Leonard Bernstein (who died in 1990) will be celebrated on August 25th, and subsequently honored with the release of two uniquely conceived 3-CD packages highlighting his distinctive dual careers as a conductor and a composer. With more than three hours of music on each deluxe fold-out package, "Leonard Bernstein -- A Total Embrace: The Conductor" and "Leonard Bernstein -- A Total Embrace: The Composer" will arrive in stores September 9th, presented by Sony Classical and Legacy Recordings, divisions of Sony Music.

"The Conductor" offers 29 tracks spanning the years 1950 to 1975, while "The Composer" features 49 performances by a multitude of artists that were recorded between 1950 and 1977 (with one CD covering Concert Works, and two CDs devoted to Theater Works). With such a bountiful program, this is one of the most ambitious and far-reaching combined retrospectives ever carried out on Leonard Bernstein, who recorded exclusively for the Columbia Masterworks label from 1956 to the early '70s.

Adding insight into Bernstein's artistic contributions are newly commissioned liner note essays on each collection, written by Maurice Peress. Peress was personally chosen by Bernstein in 1961 to be an assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic -- which was led by Bernstein from 1956 to 1969 -- just as Bernstein himself had started on his career as an assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic in the 1940s.

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