Bernstein, who taught at the Waltham, Massachusetts, university from 1951 through 1955, founded the Brandeis Festival of the Creative Arts in 1952. His one-act opera Trouble in Tahiti was premiered at the first festival.
"Leonard Bernstein was certainly one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, and Brandeis is proud to formalize the legacy to our university through the naming of the festival he founded," university president Jehuda Reinharz said. "During his years on our music faculty, he helped bring national attention to Brandeis through the arts."
Bernstein's first festival was something of a summit of mid-century culture, with appearances by Merce Cunningham, William Carlos Williams, Miles Davis, and Aaron Copland, and a performance of Weill's Threepenny Opera with Lotte Lenya.
This year's Bernstein Festival will include performances by Boston Opera Project, the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra, and other groups.