UCCA Beijing

Performing Arts Platform Series Leonard Bernstein: His World Through His Music


Performing Arts
Location:  UCCA Auditorium

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was a conductor, composer, pianist, and educator,as well as a musical theorist. People all over the world have been touched by his brilliant compositions and have discovered the beauty of American music. To some extent, Bernstein is synonymous with the twentieth century American music and American culture. UCCA, in partnership with Ping Pong Productions, is pleased to present the next installment of our Performing Arts Platform Series “Leonard Bernstein: His World Through His Music” with Leonard Bernstein's own son Alexander, mezzo-soprano Carla Dirlikov, and pianist Justin Snyder. The trio will give riveting performances of Bernstein's compositions as well as personal commentary on his life, his musical influences, and those whom he influenced.

Ticketing & Participation

UCCA member: RMB 150

Presale: RMB 180

Door: RMB 200

Presale tickets can be purchased on the UCCA website and on Douban.


*No Photos /Video /sound recording.

*You can collect your ticket from reception 30 minutes before the event begins.

*No late entry.


Standard Program

Opera and Art Song

1. I Hate Music

2. Video Excerpt-LB on Opera

3. Habanera

4. Rabbit at Top Speed (from La Bonne Cuisinne)

5. There is a Garden (from Trouble in Tahiti)

6. What a Movie!

7. Copland Anniversary Piece


Musical Theater & Jazz

1. Rhapsody in Blue excerpt (written by George Gershwin)

2. Ain’t Got No Tears Left

3. Times Square Ballet

4. Little Bit in Love

5. Sondheim Anniversary Piece

6. Dream With Me (from Peter Pan)

Songs from the Heart and Soul

7. I’m So Easily Assimilated (from Candide)

8. Felicia Anniversary Peice

9. So Pretty

10. Take Care of this House

11. Somewhere (from West Side Story)

Program may be subject to change without notice.

Maestro Leonard Bernstein, his works and influences

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Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918-October 14, 1990) has been called the great American musician of his century. His worldwide fame and influence came from musical genius, a love of people and a desire to share his talents in so many different ways: He was a conductor of the very highest caliber, performing and recording with all of the world's greatest orchestras. He was a brilliant composer of many forms and styles of music - from Symphonic to Jazz, Broadway, Operaand more (and usually in combination) - but always with his own distinctivesound. His music for West Side Story is as familiar around the world as any other. He was a teacher - on television his Young People's Concerts brought the thrill of the concert hall to millions of children (and their parents!) across the USA for 20 years. He had the ability to explain the material clearly and ask provocative questions, always engaging his audience. He won countless awards for those programs and others, including his Harvard University Norton Lectures and many televised concerts with commentary on the composers. His legacy is unique in its breadth and depth. Today, his students conduct major orchestras around the world and he has had incalculable influence on countless musicians and music lovers everywhere. A true humanitarian, Bernstein strived in his life and work to connect people of different cultures, ages, races and religions with one another.


Alexander Bernstein

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Alexander Bernstein is Leonard Bernstein's second child. He is president of The Bernstein Family Foundation, founding chairman of The Leonard Bernstein Center For Learning, and President of Artful Learning Inc. Prior to his full-time participation in the center, Bernstein taught for five years at the Packer-Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York, first as a second grade teacher, then as a teacher of drama for the middle school. He has studied acting, performed professionally, and worked as a production associate at the ABC News Documentary Unit. Bernstein holds a master's degree in English education from New York University and a bachelor's degree from Harvard.

Carla Dirlikov


Mezzo-soprano Carla Dirlikov has been praised by Opera Magazine for possessing a voice that “grabs the heartstrings with its dramatic force and musicality.” In 2014 she became the first singer ever to win the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, an honor bestowed upon her by Justice Sotomayor in a ceremony and concert at the Supreme Court of the United States. Ms. Dirlikov is in demand at opera houses and concert venues around the world.

Carla Dirlikov is the proud daughter of a Bulgarian father and a Mexican mother.For her unflagging advocacy of empowerment through music for nearly a decade,the U.S. State Department recently conferred upon her the title of Cultural Envoy. She was also recently added to the prestigious roster of the Americans for the Arts Artists Committee, through which she is a spokesperson for promoting the transformative power of the arts. In an effort to create new opportunities for cultural exchange through music, Ms Dirlikov founded the El Camino Project in 2014.

Justin Snyder


Justin Snyder, an advocate of new music, has worked with composers such as Libby Larsen, William Bolcom, Jake Heggie, John Musto, Jonathan Dove,Tucker Fuller, and Mohammed Fairouz. He has collaborated with and performed world premieres by William Bolcom, Jonathan Dove, Tucker Fuller, and Libby Larsen. He has recorded Rachmaninov's Variations on a Theme of Corelli for the Czech National Radio and recently performed live on BBC Radio 3's In Tune program. In the summer of 2011, he was a Martin Katz Fellowship.

And Stearns Fellowship student at Songfest in Malibu, California where he worked with Roger Vignoles and Graham Johnson among other teachers, composers, and performers. Since studying in London, he has won the Guildhall Accompanist Prize, the Cunard Prize in the Guildhall English Song Competition, and the Paul Hamburger Pianist's Prize as part of Graham Johnson's series Cycles in Tandem. Some of the venues he has performed at include Wigmore Hall, The Tank NY, Barbican Main Hall and Barbican Pit, The Horse Hospital, and Sadler's Wells (in collaboration with Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal). Katz for Masters in Collaborative Piano at the University of Michigan. His second master degree was in London with Pamela Lidiard and Graham Johnson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Host & Translator

Zhang Kemin

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Born in China and raised in Canada, Kemin was brought up bi-culturally by musician parents who forced him into the arts despite his dreams of becoming a doctor and a lawyer. Not taken seriously at home, Kemin sought attention elsewhere and by age 19, he had already become a regular at comedy clubs such as Yuk Yuk's and The Laff Resort in Toronto, sharing the stage and learning the craft from those who have since become internationally acclaimed comedians (Russell Peters, Jay Sankey, and Ron Josol, among others).

Kemin got involved with television when he was invited to perform magic on China Central Television's (CCTV) Special Chinese New Year Mini-series—Happy Hero: Magic Training Camp. The show was rated among the Top 10 in China that season. After the success of the series, Kemin had numerous guest appearances on regional channels across China from Beijing TV to Hunan TV. He eventually moved on from being in front of the camera to behind the scenes as he co-wrote, directed, produced and co-hosted shows for CCTV Kids, CCTV's Education Network, and Hunan Satellite TV's Shui Shi Ying Xiong Magic Search on which Kemin had the pleasure of sharing the lime light with his childhood hero, the world famous illusionist David Copperfield.

Since then he has worked with the Broadway director/choreographer Joey McKneely and Tony Award-Winning Music Supervisor Daryl Waters on the original musical "Love U, Teresa!", which premiered at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre during Christmas 2010. Kemin then collaborated with director Tony Stimac, writer and lyricist James Racheff, and composer Louis St. Louis (Grease) on a magical musical of his own creation: "Joker's Game", which was awarded the “Best Production Award” and the “Best Loved By Audience Award” at the China National Dongguan Musical Theatre Festival in 2011. In 2012 Kemin founded the “Bukaopu” (to play without score) Concert Saloon in Beijing and has been holding weekly performances combining music, magic and other random acts to entertain audiences from 2 to 86. As founder and CEO of WDTSF and Executive Director of the Li Delun Music Foundation, Kemin continues to dream up new ways to contribute to humanity without causing too much damage.

About Performing Arts Platform

In March 2014, UCCA and Ping Pong Productions (PPP) launched the Performing Arts Platform Series.Through a wide variety of performances, open rehearsals, performing arts workshops, master classes, arts management seminars, lectures, talks, and discussions with artists, critics, and scholars, the program series creates unprecedented opportunities for Chinese and international performing artists and audiences to meet and interact. It facilitates cross-genre and cross-cultural exploration, enriching cultural exchange and collaboration between Chinese and international artists, audiences, and students.


Ping Pong Productions (PPP)

Ping Pong Productions (PPP) is a catalyst that brings China and the world together through the performing arts. As artistic ambassadors, they engage cultures through discourse, searching for points of cooperation, mutual exchange, and understanding. They develop cultural exchange projects and facilitate creative collaborations between Chinese and international artists, scholars and audiences. With teams based in China and the United States, PPP has extensive experience providing production, consulting, management, and planning services.