Leonard Bernstein ( /ˈbɜrnstaɪn/ US dict: bûrn′·stīn; August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim. According to The New York Times, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history." He is quite possibly the conductor whose name is best known to the public in general, especially the American public.
His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, and from his music for West Side Story, as well as Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town and his own Mass.
Bernstein was also the first conductor to give numerous television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his death. In addition, he was a skilled pianist, often conducting piano concertos from the keyboard.
As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works, opera, chamber music and pieces for the piano. Many of his works are regularly performed around the world, although none has matched the tremendous popular and commercial success of West Side Story.
Read more about Leonard Bernstein: Social Activism, Influence and Characteristics As A Conductor, Recordings, Influence and Characteristics As A Composer, Bibliography, Videography, Awards, Further Reading
Famous quotes related to leonard bernstein:
“Whenever [Leonard Bernstein] entered or exited a country he would fill in on his passport form not composer or conductor, but musician. Of course people in the press spent a lot of Lennys life telling him what he should have done; he should have been a concert pianist, he should have composed more.... And people wouldnt let him live his own life. But he created his own career, in his own image.”
—John Mauceri (b. 1945)