The first time Bernstein conducted Glenn Gould

The first time Bernstein conducted Glenn Gould


norman lebrecht

May 26, 2023

Daniel Poulin tells us:

‘The first collaboration between Gould and Bernstein happened on January 26, 1957 in New York. Beethoven’s Concerto in B-flat major op.19 (no2) was featured.

‘Two quotes (anecdotal): After the concert Bernstein was so exhilarated that he urged they record it together “while it was hot”. Gould declined and was reported as saying “Bernstein isn’t ready”. He later strenuously denied what remains a bit of gossip; they eventually recorded it in April.

‘Later at a party Bernstein told Gould: “You played so beautifully in the cadenza that I almost came in my pants”. We don’t know how Gould reacted. We can only imagine his embarrassment, knowing his prudishness.’


  • Mark Mortimer says:

    A great & funny story. I’ve played Beethoven’s Second concerto but not to the point ‘I came in my pants during the cadenza’. I suspect Bernstein & Gould (they were mates after all) had a little giggle about this as the latter had quite a sense of humour & was not ‘prudish’ in reality.

  • I beg your pardon says:

    Clearly he needed a man to make him almost come in his pants, since females weren’t doing it for him.

  • Ernest says:

    Would this constitute sexual harassment today?

  • Robert Holmén says:

    “No, I said, ‘I also love the Pirates of Penzance’! “

  • Radbod says:

    One suspects that Lenny’s remark was actually an attempt to get into Gould’s pants rather than about his own.

  • Timothy M Hess says:

    I’d be interested to know how Glenn Gould felt about Leonard Bernstein s comment?

  • Tony Sanderson says:

    Bernstein wouldn’t have jad a carreer after that remark these days.