The world-famous conductor and his wife in ‘Maestro’


“Maestro” comes to the M.V. Film Center on Friday, Dec. 15. It tells the story of the tour-de-force conductor Leonard Bernstein, played by Bradley Cooper, and his relationship with Felicia Montealegre, played by two-time Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan, along with her commitment to him.

A world-famous composer and conductor, Bernstein received seven Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, 16 Grammy Awards, and an Oscar nomination, as well as a Kennedy Center Honor. He also helped revive the music of Gustav Mahler. As for his activism, he was a supporter of civil rights and a protester against the war in Vietnam. He made conducting debuts with 10 different orchestras. He also wrote the music for “Candide” and “West Side Story.” Among his many accolades, he became musical director in 1957 of the New York Philharmonic.

Bernstein met Montealegre in 1946 at a party, and it was the beginning of a 25-year relationship, although Bernstein also had liaisons with men. In supporting roles are Golden Globe winner Matt Bomer, along with Maya Hawke and Sarah Silverman. Montealegre is portrayed in a scene of her swimming in a pool, and Bernstein is also shown playing the piano.

An illustration of their romantic liaison, the film shows Bernstein and Montealegre sitting together on the grass, with backs romantically leaning against each other. Later, the film shows Bernstein conducting in a famous concert, as Montealegre watches admiringly. In another scene, the film illustrates them in bed together. In the meantime, the film describes the gay man involved in a liaison at the same time as his relationship with Felicia, the woman who would ultimately become his wife. Bernstein’s marriage lasts three decades, despite his sexual proclivities. It is Felicia’s story as much as Bernstein’s, and her commitment to him takes place against the background of music.

The film shows exactly the sacrifices made to Bernstein’s sexual voracity, as well as the role of the women in his life. At the same time, the viewer sees the complexity of Bernstein’s life, and Montealegre’s response to it.

The viewer will appreciate the story of iconic conductor Leonard Bernstein and the woman who loved him.

Information and tickets for “Maestro” are available at



  1. My dad Carlyle Cronig rented that house to the Bernstein’s. The house was on the Vineyard Haven side of the Lagoon. It was back in the 1960’s. My parents, my brother and I were invited to one of his children’s birthday party. I think I was around 5 or 6 years old.

    Peter Cronig

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