Leonard Bernstein’s Life and Legacy Celebrated in Maestro

Benefit screening on December 16 at 7 pm and post-show Q+A with Nina Bernstein Simmons in conversation with Christopher Rothko


Nina Bernstein Simmons and Christopher Rothko

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(Chatham, NY—December 4, 2023) — This December, the historic Crandell Theatre on Chatham’s Main Street is pleased to present Maestro, Bradley Cooper’s brilliant biopic of legendary conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. Following a special screening of the film on Saturday, December 16, at 7 pm, Bernstein’s youngest daughter, Nina Bernstein Simmons, will take to the stage for a discussion of her father’s legacy and her family’s involvement in the genesis of the movie. Christopher Rothko, son of abstract painter Mark Rothko and a classical music critic, will join Bernstein Simmons to discuss the intersecting creative influences and achievements of two of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

Directed by and starring Cooper and Carey Mulligan, Maestro takes a sweeping, multi-decades look at Leonard Bernstein’s career and marriage to Costa Rican-Chilean actress and pianist Felicia Cohn Montealegre, a fashion icon who became a political activist. Cooper and Mulligan deliver a glittering, complex portrait of the couple that radiates with the rhythms and melodic themes of Bernstein’s music. Yet another exciting “Crandell Live!” event this holiday season, tickets are $20 and will benefit the Crandell’s restoration and renovation.

Bernstein, who first came to Tanglewood in 1940 and gave his last performance there fifty years later in the summer of 1990, was a fixture in the Berkshires. Tanglewood’s 2017 Season, in fact, was dedicated to the maestro.

Nina Bernstein Simmons first turned her attention to tending her late father’s legacy after working as an actress, initially at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge. In the earliest days of the Internet, she worked with the Library of Congress to make the Bernstein Archives digitally available to the public. From 2000 to 2005, Nina worked on Leonard Bernstein: A Total Embrace, a film about her older sister, Jamie, and her remarkable journeys around the world bringing Bernstein’s music and teaching legacy to new audiences. Since 2008, Nina has been working as a food educator in underserved communities.

Christopher Rothko is the second of Mark and Mary Alice Rothko’s two children. He holds a B.A. in Literature from Yale University and a Doctorate in Psychology from The University of Michigan. He has worked as a clinical psychologist and has also written for national publications as a classical music critic. He is the editor of his father’s book of philosophical writings, The Artist’s Reality: Philosophies of Art published in 2004. His new book of essays, Mark Rothko from the Inside Out, was published in 2015 by Yale University Press. Dr. Rothko has helped prepare more than two dozen Rothko exhibitions at museums and galleries around the globe and has lectured on his father’s work at institutions such as the National Gallery of Art, Washington; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Russia’s Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg; The Fondation Beyeler, Basel; and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Dr. Rothko is Chair of the Board of the Rothko Chapel, an ecumenical chapel designed by his father and whose mission is to champion human rights and foster interfaith understanding.

To purchase tickets, please visit the event page here.

For more information about the Crandell’s upcoming restoration and renovation, visit our frequently asked questions page here.

About the Crandell

The Crandell Theatre in Chatham, NY, is one of a few community-based, nonprofit theaters in the United States devoted to film and one of fewer than one hundred single-screen movie theaters nationally. Since 2010, Crandell Theatre, Inc., has raised more than $1 million to purchase the historic theater and make needed repairs. The current Crandell board is engaged in a multi-million-dollar campaign to renovate and restore the area’s oldest, largest, single-screen theater and enhance the moviegoing experience for generations to come. For more information, visit crandelltheatre.org, or call 518-392-3445.