About B100A & MASS


For many years now, Maestro Peter Bay has wanted to bring two long cherished dreams to reality:  first, to celebrate the legacy of American musical legend, Leonard Bernstein, and second, to bring the classical community of Austin together in a cooperative project of such grand scope never seen before in the city's history.  Bernstein100Austin is now that dream, fully realized in 2018.  We invite you to read about our outreach programs, to see the community events we have planned for all of our Austin families to enjoy, and finally, to attend MASS on either June 29 & 30, 2018 and celebrate with the cherished arts organizations of our city.  Check our calendar regularly as the project develops.  Bernstein100Austin will truly be unforgettable!  

Read more from a letter from Peter Bay about his musical inspiration, Leonard Bernstein, and the influence MASS had on his own life as a young conductor.

About MASS

Leonard Bernstein was asked by Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy to compose a piece for the 1971 inauguration of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  The creation from this effort was MASS:  A Theater Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers.  Borne from a very volatile time in American history amidst a strong anti-war sentiment following the Vietnam War, MASS was a musical representation of a younger culture seeking a new direction in their government and spiritual direction.

With a fascinating reflection of the confusion and cultural instability of the 1970s, MASS uses an unorthodox mixture of musical genres, from rock and jazz to Broadway and classical.  Drawn from Bernstein's own personal exploration of the Jewish and Catholic traditions, the depiction of interfaith influences in MASS was yet another touchstone of controversy when it premiered.  Together with lyricist, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), Bernstein crafts a dramatic story in which a Celebrant loses his way amidst his increasingly disconnected congregants.  Infused with Bernstein's positive belief of our humanity; however, MASS ends with a hopeful reaffirmation of universal peace.

Read more about the history, synopsis, and musical details of MASS.