Actor Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro. Photo by Jason McDonald/Netflix.

In Saturday’s (9/30) New York Times, Javier C. Hernández writes, “In 2018, when the New York Philharmonic was deep in rehearsals … an unexpected visitor showed up at … David Geffen Hall, the Philharmonic’s home. The visitor, Bradley Cooper, the actor and director … was preparing to direct and star in a film about Leonard Bernstein, the eminent conductor and composer who led the Philharmonic from 1958 to 1969. He was asking the orchestra’s leaders for help with the movie, ‘Maestro,’ which has its North American premiere on Monday at the New York Film Festival…. Cooper was a regular at the Philharmonic’s concerts and rehearsals, sitting in the conductor’s box in the second tier and peppering musicians with questions…. Cooper’s time with the Philharmonic was the beginning of an intense five-year period in which he immersed himself in classical music to portray Bernstein … He attended dozens of rehearsals and performances in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Berlin and at Tanglewood in Massachusetts. And he befriended top maestros, including [NY Philharmonic Music Director] Jaap van Zweden; Michael Tilson Thomas, a protégé of Bernstein who led the San Francisco Symphony; Gustavo Dudamel, who leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the music director of the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, who served as the film’s conducting consultant.”