Release date: 5 March 2019
An archive of materials from the 2018 Bernstein in Chichester Festival has been presented to the West Sussex Record Office.
It provides a full account of the celebrations, including the festival brochure and printed marketing items, news releases, event programmes, correspondence, and newspaper and magazine articles, films and interviews, and shows the city’s continuing close links to Leonard Bernstein.
The eight-month festival marking the composer’s centenary year featured concerts, ballet, theatre, workshops, revues, jazz, talks, film shows, exhibitions and reunions.
Emma-Jane Wyatt and Edward Milward-Oliver who organised the festival, said: "Our donation of the archive to West Sussex Record Office recognises the enthusiasm and generosity of the many participants and supporters, and a community keen to honour Leonard Bernstein's life and work."
Bernstein’s son, Alexander Bernstein, flew in from New York to attend the closing concert of the festival. He wrote afterwards: "I was so very moved by the communal spirit and dedication."
West Sussex County Archivist Wendy Walker said: "The Record Office is delighted to receive this important archive of the many activities and achievements of the Festival last year.
"It was a very real pleasure to be involved with this and to ensure that a permanent archive will now be kept alongside the original Leonard Bernstein material and the fascinating story of the Chichester Psalms in the Walter Hussey Archive."
Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: "The Bernstein in Chichester Festival was a wonderful celebration that highlighted the close connections between Leonard Bernstein and Chichester. It generated worldwide interest.
"I am incredibly pleased that the Record Office will continue to play an important role in preserving this important part of our history."
Leonard Bernstein was commissioned to write the Chichester Psalms by Walter Hussey, the Dean of Chichester Cathedral, in 1963, and came to Chichester for its UK premiere at the Cathedral in July 1965.
The work was performed again in Chichester Cathedral by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the three choirs of Chichester, Salisbury and Winchester Cathedrals under the baton of Marin Alsop at the end of the Festival last year. One of Bernstein’s most popular compositions, it was the fifth most performed concert work around the world in 2018.
For more information about West Sussex Record Office, visit: www.westsussex.gov.uk/ro
For more information about Bernstein in Chichester, contact: Emma-Jane Wyatt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more information about the Festival see: www.bernsteinchichester.uk
For the Record Office blog on Bernstein in the archives see: www.westsussexrecordoffice.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/bernstein-in-chichester-2018-the-archive-story