Bradley Cooper’s latest directorial venture, Maestro, is all set to put the life of the legendary American composer Leonard Bernstein in focus. The film, which premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 2nd, 2023, has garnered acclaim and is poised for a limited theatrical release on November 22nd, before hitting Netflix on December 20th.
Cooper, who not only directed the film but also stars as Leonard Bernstein, navigates the intricate nuances of the composer’s life, particularly his profound connection with his wife, Felicia Montealegre, portrayed by Carey Mulligan.
Produced by luminaries such as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, Maestro boasts an ensemble cast that includes Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, and Sarah Silverman in supporting roles. Bomer takes on the character of David Oppenheim, with Hawke portraying Jamie Bernstein and Silverman as Shirley Bernstein.
The biopic chronicles Bernstein’s return to Harvard in 1972, where he assumed the role of the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry, delivering a series of six public lectures. This noteworthy return to his alma mater is a focal point of the film, providing a lens through which audiences can explore the multifaceted genius of Bernstein. The film’s screenplay, a collaborative effort between Cooper and Josh Singer, also delves into the complexities of Bernstein’s marriage.
Access Leonard Bernstein’s genius through his Harvard lectures
In tandem with the film’s impending release, enthusiasts of Bernstein’s legacy can delve deeper into his brilliance by immersing themselves in over 11 hours of his Harvard lectures, collectively titled The Unanswered Question. These lectures, delivered in 1973, cover an expansive array of topics, from poetry and linguistics to philosophy and physics, ultimately centring on the underlying grammar of music.
Available on YouTube, the lectures serve as masterpieces, exemplifying Bernstein’s ability to make complex material accessible.
As Maestro prepares to enchant audiences both in theatres and on Netflix, the confluence of Bradley Cooper’s directorial finesse, the stellar cast, and the rich legacy of Leonard Bernstein promises an unforgettable cinematic experience. Whether relishing the biopic’s theatrical run or immersing oneself in the intellectual brilliance of Bernstein’s Harvard lectures, the coming weeks are bound to be a celebration of a musical genius.