HomeMusicWhy the Actual Star of the New Bradley Cooper Movie ‘Maestro’ Might...

Why the Actual Star of the New Bradley Cooper Movie ‘Maestro’ Might Be a Home

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In the early Nineteen Sixties, after a lot of summers renting on Martha’s Vineyard, Jamie Bernstein’s household purchased a trip residence on a wooded hill in West Redding, Conn. There, 9-year-old Jamie and her youthful brother, Alexander, devised varied video games of make-believe, chief amongst them a fantasy that they lived the identical form of low-key, small-town existence because the characters on their favourite tv reveals.

It was a testomony to the imaginative presents of youngsters whose precise residence was a duplex residence throughout the road from Carnegie Hall, and whose father was the celebrated, heat-seeking “West Side Story” composer and New York Philharmonic conductor Leonard Bernstein.

“Once we had this little home, we weren’t going to Martha’s Vineyard and we have been a lot nearer to Manhattan, which was most likely far more handy for my mother and father,” mentioned Ms. Bernstein, 70, the creator of the 2018 memoir “Famous Father Girl” and the host of “The NY Phil Story: Made in New York,” a brand new podcast in regards to the Philharmonic produced by the orchestra and the general public radio station WQXR. “It meant that we might go there on the weekends throughout the common a part of the 12 months.”

Then, when her sister Nina was born in 1962, “we have been a household of 5,” Ms. Bernstein continued. “Plus the nanny and the cook dinner who generally got here up with us on the weekends. And immediately the home appeared too small.”

A couple of months later, her mom, Felicia Montealegre Bernstein, an actor and artist, introduced that she had simply purchased an enormous, new nation place. “And I assume I will need to have requested, ‘Well, how a lot did it value?’” Ms. Bernstein recalled. “And my mom mentioned, ‘Oh, I can’t discuss that. It was so costly I can’t even say it out loud.’ And my brother and I have been saying, ‘Oh, come on, how a lot was it? How a lot was it?’ We badgered her till lastly she whispered, ‘80.’”

Her youngsters gasped: “$80 — it value $80?”

In that very same whisper, Mrs. Bernstein corrected them: “$80,000.”

What in these days appeared a lordly sum purchased a former horse farm with a pool, a tennis courtroom and outbuildings on six and a half acres in Fairfield, Conn. Over the years, further parcels of woodland — virtually 12 acres’ price — have been acquired to offer the household extra privateness and extra of an escape from city cares.

“It was marvelous,” Ms. Bernstein mentioned. “We spent many summers right here, and virtually each weekend throughout the remainder of the 12 months. We all beloved it.”



Occupation: Author, filmmaker, podcast host

Taking the treatment: “We go to the home to be utterly relaxed. It’s just like the antidote to New York life.”


After Mr. Bernstein’s loss of life in 1990 (Mrs. Bernstein died in 1978), the three youngsters inherited the property. But it’s Jamie who’s most incessantly in residence — just about each weekend.

As when their mother and father have been alive, the compound is a gathering spot for birthdays and holidays, and for fiercely contested rounds of Anagrams. Lately, it has additionally served as a set for the upcoming movie “Maestro,” a portrait of the Bernsteins’ difficult marriage directed by and starring Bradley Cooper. (Carey Mulligan performs Felicia.)

“He needed an authenticity about how he was evoking our dad and his world,” Ms. Bernstein mentioned of Mr. Cooper. “He was very curious to come back up right here and go to, and that’s when he determined he needed to come back again and shoot in and round the home. Bradley completely acquired why this place was so nice and the way it accommodates the household DNA.”

Indeed, the home, with its graciously proportioned rooms, has barely been altered because the days when it was populated by the senior Bernsteins and their nice and good associates — amongst them, Stephen Sondheim (who didn’t fairly take it in stride when Jamie beat him at Anagrams), Jerome Robbins, Mike Nichols and Richard Avedon (who took the image of Jamie that sits amongst a clutch of household photographs in the lounge).

“When we acquired older, we realized, ‘Boy, we had loads of cool folks at our home,’” Ms. Bernstein mentioned. “But once we have been little, they have been simply our mother and father’ associates. To us, they have been simply Steve and Jerry and Mike and Dick.”

It might have been Mr. Sondheim who purchased his “West Side Story” collaborator the abacus that sits on a shelf within the eating room — “I can’t assure that’s the case,” she mentioned — and it was Mr. Sondheim or possibly Mr. Nichols who purchased the positive telescope on the ground close by.

“There was some time there when our mother and father would have these Christmas events for all their friends,” Ms. Bernstein mentioned. “And there was a competitiveness in regards to the present-giving that grew to become so oppressive that my mom mentioned, ‘We’re not having these events anymore.’”

The furnishings — heavy on rattan, wicker and bamboo — conjures a summer time pavilion. So does the eating room, which is anchored by a white-painted desk and chairs, and full of crops. Its entryway, framed by a trellis, provides to the phantasm.

“Our mom was a sort of good, instinctive decorator,” Ms. Bernstein mentioned. “Everyplace we lived was elegant however comfy.”

She recalled dinners together with her father or mom on the head of the desk. Under the carpet was a plug for a bell to summon the assistance, “and my mother and father would begin disappearing,” Ms. Bernstein mentioned. “They would go decrease and decrease down of their chair, as their foot groped for the buzzer.”

The Steinway child grand in the lounge was a present to Mr. Bernstein from a childhood piano trainer, Helen Coates, who later grew to become his secretary. It was Ms. Coates who determinedly made the successful bid when, in 1949, there was an public sale to boost cash for the library in Lenox, Mass., and Mr. Bernstein made a portray, supposedly of Salome doing her Dance of the Seven Veils, to help the trigger.

“Helen acquired it, in order that for the remainder of time no one would see it,” Ms. Bernstein mentioned, pointing to her father’s well-meaning work hanging in a nook not removed from the piano.

“My father,” she added, fairly unnecessarily, “was not visually gifted.”

The recollections that Ms. Bernstein and her siblings have of their childhood on the Fairfield home — household swims; their father carrying a saltshaker to the vegetable backyard within the morning to correctly season his chosen breakfast; elegant lunches of stuffed tomatoes with selfmade mayonnaise on the terrace — have been overlaid by newer recollections. And the following technology, the youngsters of the Bernstein youngsters, now have their very own historical past right here and, in fact, their very own recollections.

“That,” Ms. Bernstein mentioned, “is the great thing about having a home that stays within the household.”

“If some wallpaper is coming unglued, if some materials are fading, if some drawer fronts are hanging by a thread and cupboards are filled with baffling detritus — nicely, it’s all a part of the household DNA.

“We don’t make things better,” Ms. Bernstein conceded. “There is a definite aspect of funk on this home now. It’s sort of funky. But we’re sort of funky, too.”

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Content Source: www.nytimes.com

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