Leonard Bernstein’s brother has died, aged 85

Leonard Bernstein’s brother has died, aged 85


norman lebrecht

September 01, 2017

The family has confirmed to us the death of Burton Bernstein on August 26th, a day after what would have been his brother’s 99th birthday.

Burton, a staff writer on the New Yorker from 1957 to 1992, was the author of eight books, among them a biography of James Thurber, a study of the Sinai desert, a celebration of flying and memoirs of his brother and his family.

He was a civilised man, replete with the Bernstein charm.


  • Sue says:

    I read all about Leonard’s brother in Humphrey Burton’s (yes!) excellent biography. This book is highly recommended.

  • Ungeheuer says:


  • Malcolm Kottler says:

    Norman links to one YouTube clip of Burton talking about Leonard.

    Here is another short one, in which Burton recalls his experience as an 11 year old at Leonard Bernstein’s famous November 14, 1943, debut conducting the New York Philharmonic:


    Burton wrote a book about the Bernstein family entitled:
    Family Matters, Sam, Jennie, and the Kids.

    In 1989 Burton Bernstein interviewed Leonard.

    You can read what Leonard told Burton about Leonard’s famous November 14, 1943, conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic: