SOURCE: Ovation TV

September 03, 2008 06:00 ET

Ovation TV to Feature Exclusive US Premiere of "Leonard Bernstein Reflections" Tuesday, September 23

Released for the First Time Since Its Production 30 Years Ago, the Film Is a Rare Personal Portrait of the Famous Composer/Conductor

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - September 3, 2008) - Ovation TV, the only network devoted exclusively to art, culture and personal creativity, will celebrate the 90th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's birthday and the 50th anniversary of his debut at Carnegie Hall with the premiere of "Leonard Bernstein Reflections." This rare film, produced in 1978, is being released for the first time in the United States and will receive its exclusive US debut on Ovation TV on Tuesday, September 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

"This is one of those 'hidden gems' that we live to uncover. The minute Director Peter Rosen told me about it, I knew we had to have it," said Kris Slava, SVP of Programming and Production, Ovation TV. "There are certain parts of the film that just send chills up your spine. You get to hear Bernstein himself telling the famous story of how Bruno Walter fell sick and young Bernstein took the baton at the last minute -- launching his triumphant career with a standing ovation. Never before has there been such a personal portrait of Bernstein told through his own words. It brings a renewed appreciation of this gifted man and his far-reaching influence."

"Leonard Bernstein Reflections" takes viewers from the Leonard Bernstein Festival in Israel in 1977 to the stage of his famous debut at Carnegie Hall in New York and into the privacy of his home and studio. Honest and intimate, Bernstein himself reveals stories never heard before about his childhood and early years in Boston, his musical growth at Harvard and at the Curtis Institute, and the influence of great masters like Reiner, Mitropoulis, and Koussevitsky. "Leonard Bernstein Reflections" was produced, directed and photographed by Peter Rosen.

"I'm really pleased that Ovation will air this film after all these years," said Peter Rosen. "It was the first full-length documentary I made and was kept off American TV because of rights clearance issues. Now we can look back and see Lenny at the pinnacle of his career."

Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1918. He attended Harvard University, and graduated with high honors in music. He studied conducting under Fritz Reiner at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and began his long association with Serge Koussevitzky in 1940. In 1943, as assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Bernstein filled in on short notice for Bruno Walter and became an overnight sensation. He later became the first American born and trained musical director of the New York Philharmonic, a post he held until 1970 when he became laureate conductor. International acclaim followed Bernstein's tours with the Philharmonic, his hundreds of recordings, and his conducting engagements with all of the world's great orchestras. From Broadway to concert hall to television, Leonard Bernstein was one of music's most visible and articulate figures. He lived in the city that had inspired much of his music -- New York.

Carnegie Hall will open its 118th season on Wednesday, September 24 with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas leading the San Francisco Symphony in an all-Leonard Bernstein program, which launches "Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds," a citywide festival celebrating Leonard Bernstein.

About Ovation TV: Ovation TV is a multi-platform network devoted exclusively to art, culture, creativity and making art more accessible to viewers in their daily lives. The network showcases the world's greatest artists in theater, dance, opera, literature, film, visual and fine art, music, design, photography and architecture. Ovation TV reaches a national audience of more than 28 million households through carriage on DirecTV (channel 274), Dish Network (channel 157) and on cable and telco systems in major markets across the country. Ovation TV's programming is also available on video on demand (in both standard and high definition), as well as at

Images available upon request.

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    Patricia Frith
    Patricia Frith Marketing (for Ovation TV)
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