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LEONARD BERNSTEIN Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrenceville Massachusettes on August 25 1918 He was the first born child of Samuel and Jennie Bernstein who lived in Boston but had gone to Lawrenceville to visit some relatives Bernsteins parents had little knowledge of or interest in classical music The only records Leonard remembers hearing on his family phonograph when he was a child were the popular hit songs of the day such as Barney Google and Oh by Jingo For the most part Leonard Bernstein was an unhappy child He said I was a miserable terrified little child Musicians p64 His family moved from town to town during Bernsteins school days not giving him a chance to make close friends or feel at home Sadly Bernsteins peers would make fun of and tease Bernstein He was a very sickly child as he suffered from chronic asthma rose fever and hay fever This pathetic child grew to be a very shy person Leonard always had a heart for music even as a young boy As an eight year old one morning when he was sitting in the synagogue the religious music of the choir and organ overwhelmed him by its beauty and caused him to burst into tears When Leonard and his family would visit their friends Leonard would sneak over to the piano and experiment When he was eleven his aunt sent her piano to his house for his family to keep for storage I made love to it right away he recalled Musicians p 65 He could escape from all his frustrations and sadness by playing the piano His parents didnt
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