Bernstein conducts Shostakovich

Ahead of tonight's Prom, enjoy this meeting of two great 20th-century musical minds

Bernstein conducts Shostakovich

This evening’s BBC Prom links two major composers of the 20th century, as Bernstein’s Second Symphony (‘The Age of Anxiety’) is followed by Shostakovich’s Fifth. Marin Alsop, a pupil of Bernstein, will be conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Bernstein himself conducted Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony on a number of occasions. Not least of these was his recording with the New York Philharmonic in 1959, made soon after he and the orchestra had returned from a tour of the USSR, where they had performed the Fifth with the composer in the audience. The recording saw Bernstein take the final at a frantic, breakneck speed – though not what Shostakovich had originally intended, he is said to have approved heartily on hearing it.

Below is a glimpse of Bernstein conducting Shostakovich’s Fifth on a later occasion – with the London Symphony Orchestra in 1966…


What's on at the Proms tonight?

Prom 60, Monday 27 August, 7.30pm

Bernstein Slava! (A Poltical Overture)
Bernstein Symphony No. 2, 'The Age of Anxiety'
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano)
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop (conductor)


The Prom will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3

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