Actually, Lydia Tár did study under Leonard Berstein, the late conductor’s estate says

Leonard Bernstein's three children come forward to clear up any doubts surrounding Lydia's education

Actually, Lydia Tár did study under Leonard Berstein, the late conductor’s estate says
Lydia Tár is real Image: Focus Features

One of the major influencers in Lydia Tár’s career is her mentorship under famed American conductor, Leonard Bernstein. Throughout Todd Field’s faux-biopic, TÁR, the embattled conductor often talks of her hero Bernstein and his artistic philosophies. Despite any evidence undermining Lydia’s claims of being taught by Bernstein, the late conductor’s estate now confirms that she did hone in her skills under the tutelage of Lenny in the final year of his life.

Following the film’s release, even Field called into question Lydia’s association with Bernstein, painting it as a lie she used to strengthen her status in the music world.

“It would be good for the Bernstein estate to let her lie about her association with Leonard Bernstein, even if she maybe never even studied with him, because the optics of that association would be very, very good, given that she’s a woman, given how Lenny’s life ended,” Field told The New Yorker last month. “But I don’t think she ever studied with Leonard Bernstein. If you look at the math—Lenny dies in what, 1990? When is she studying with Lenny Bernstein? I don’t think it happened.”

However, Bernstein’s three children have verified that Lydia was in fact a student of the late Bernstein in a follow-up letter to The New Yorker.

The letter, signed by Jamie, Alexander, and Nina Bernstein, reads: “As representatives of Bernstein’s estate, and in the spirit of the ongoing hubbub over the film, we can assure Field that his heroine was a teen-age prodigy whose talents were so formidable that she was granted special permission to be one of Bernstein’s conducting students at Tanglewood in the summer of 1990, during the final year of Bernstein’s life. His impact on her artistry is indelible, down to her churning ‘washing machine’ movements, an intriguing adaptation of Bernstein’s legendary podium style.”

Firstly, believe women, even if they’re fictional. Secondly, this letter (written in jest), further affirms that Lydia Tár is not fictional but a real EGOT-winning conductor who we all just learned about last year.

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