Leonard Bernstein

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Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. According to The New York Times, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history."[1] He was probably best known to the public as the longtime music director of the New York Philharmonic, for conducting concerts by many of the world's leading orchestras, and for writing the music for West Side Story.

Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace

Leonard Bernstein was a sponsor of the Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace which ran from March 25 - 27, 1949 in New York City. It was arranged by a Communist Party USA front organization known as the National Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions. The conference was a follow-up to a similar gathering, the strongly anti-America, pro-Soviet World Congress of Intellectuals which was held in Poland, August 25 - 28, 1948.[2]

Radical causes

Over the years, Leonard Bernstein supported radical causes including those of the CPUSA and held fundraisers for the Black Panther Party legal defense groups.

He was eventually discovered to have been a covert member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) with the publication of FBI files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Accuracy in Media.[citation needed]

Bernstein sent a supportive message to Communist Party member Paul Robeson and his 75th birthday celebration held by the CPUSA April 15, 1973, at Carnegie Hall[3]

Mrs. Leonard Bernstein

Mrs. Leonard Bernstein was listed as a sponsor of the Committee to Defend the Panther 21 organization that was formed in late 1969 or early 1970, re letterhead of fundraising letter, Jan. 25, 1970.


  1. NY Times: Leonard Bernstein, 72, Music's Monarch, Dies, Oct. 15, 1990 (accessed on March 14, 2011)
  2. Review of the Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace by the Committee on Un-American Activities, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., April 19, 1949
  3. Daily World, "The People of the world salute Paul Robeson", April 26, 1973, P. 12