Dearest Lenny: Letters from Japan and the Making of the World Maestro
Cultural Studies and Language Series—Fall 2019
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | Mari Yoshihara will speak about her new book, Dearest Lenny: Letters from Japan and the Making of the World Maestro, which interweaves the history of Leonard Bernstein’s transformation from an American icon to a world maestro with an intimate story of his relationships with two Japanese individuals: Amano Kazuko, a loyal fan who began writing letters to Bernstein in 1947, and Kunihiko Hashimoto, a young man who fell deeply in love with Bernstein in 1979 and later became his business representative. During the period in which these two relationships unfolded, Japan’s place in the world and its relationship vis-à-vis the United States changed dramatically, which in turn shaped Bernstein’s connection to the country. Yoshihara will trace the making of a global Bernstein amidst the shifting change of classical music that made this American celebrity turn increasingly to Europe and Japan.