Longy Honors Ellis Marsalis, Jr. With 2021 Leonard Bernstein Award, Virtual Reception With Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis III, and Jamie Bernstein

Virtual Reception With Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis III, and Jamie Bernstein

On Monday, March 15th, 2021 at 7:00 p.m., the Longy School of Music at Bard College will hold a virtual Bernstein Award reception. This event honors the legacy of Ellis Marsalis, Jr. (1934–2020), continuing on to the Gala Celebration at 8:00 p.m., which will include the official presentation of the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society.

Each year, Longy recognizes a performer or teacher who has dedicated their life to enriching the world with music. The award itself is in memory of Leonard Bernstein, who reached wide audiences with his music—as a composer, conductor, pianist and, perhaps most importantly, as an educator and humanitarian.

Marsalis was well-known for his talent as a jazz pianist, with more than 15 albums to his name when he passed away in April 2020. Yet he also had a singular career as a music educator and thought of himself first and foremost as a teacher. He was a musical mentor to four of his sons—Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis—and taught prominent musical figures such as Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, and Harry Connick, Jr.

Marsalis’s passion for education and his lasting effects on the world of jazz will be explored in a conversation with Jamie Bernstein, Wynton Marsalis, and Ellis Marsalis III at the reception. This will be the first event in the school’s annual gala celebration.

The 2021 Longy School of Music Gala will also highlight the school’s activities during the last year, with a focus on its work to make the field of music more equitable and accessible. Attendees will get a firsthand look at how Longy students and faculty have continued to make music in spite of the year’s challenges. The program includes several special performances, featured stories, and behind-the-scenes footage.

This event will benefit the Longy School of Music’s Access for Equity Campaign, which provides scholarships, fellowships, and support for social change initiatives. So far, the campaign has raised $215,000 to help students break through barriers and achieve their goals in music and social projects alike.

For over a century, Longy has continuously changed the mold of conservatory education and expanded the world’s understanding of what a life in music can mean. Its innovative Catalyst Curriculum is customized to focus on the skills, knowledge, and experience students need to create a change in the world, and it prepares students to engage new audiences and teach anyone, anywhere. Students get hands-on, real-world experience while building their networks with Longy’s extensive community of musicians and organizations.

The Longy School of Music has a strong focus on inclusivity, welcoming students of all lived experiences and skills and giving them a stage on which to succeed. Whether they’re passionate about music or social change, Longy helps turn their enthusiasm into action. If you want to become part of a community of musicians who work together and cheer on one another’s successes, then you belong at Longy.

For more information the gala or the school’s programs, contact Emily Arkin at 617.831.1759 or [email protected]

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