B1031. JOAN PEYSER. BERNSTEIN: A Biography. New York, Beech Tree Books, 1987. 481 pp. Index; Photos; DJ. - 0-688-04918-4
"It was probably just a coincidence, but soon after Joan Peyser's BERNSTEIN: A BIOGRAPHY was published...Leonard Bernstein left the country...one assumes, keeping a nervous weather watch on the reception of a book that he has long dreaded....and the racy tone of the book suggests that the author knew what she was up to from the start...her report is either devastatingly candid or in appalling taste."
- Peter G. Davis, NEW YORK, 1 June, 1987
"Joan Peyser traces Bernstein's life from his Boston childhood through his Tin Pan Alley apprenticeship, his Broadway successes, his struggle for a foothold in the tight society of serious music even after his overnight stardom with the New York Philharmonic, his remarkable career as a conductor and composer. Bernstein's meteoric rise at the age of 25 to the conductorship of the NY Philarmonic is a musical Horatio Alger story. He made musical history in almost every phase of serious and popular music, including as a pianist and composer. He wrote symphonies, ballets, an opera and scores for Broadway musicals WEST SIDE STORY, ON THE TOWN and WONDERFUL TOWN.”
- Zillah D. Akron
“One of Schonberg's most famous criticisms of Bernstein [to whom he referred as] ‘the Peter Pan of music’, written after the famous 6 April, 1962 performance before which Bernstein announced that he disagreed with pianist Glenn Gould's interpretation of Brahms' Piano Concerto #1 but was going to conduct it anyway because he found it fascinating. Schonberg chided Bernstein in print, suggesting that he should have either refrained from publicizing his disagreement, backed out of the concert, or imposed his own will on Gould.”
- Harold C. Schoenberg, THE GREAT CONDUCTORS