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Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was an American composer, conductor and pianist. He was one of the most important figures in music in recent decades, straddling the worlds of classical and popular music, and introducing two generations to classical music. Educated at Harvard, he studied piano before becoming assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of twenty-five, and then its musical director from 1958 until 1969. He toured the world, perhaps best known for his performances of Brahms, Beethoven and Sibelius - and of Mahler, for whom he had a special affinity. He also conducted the opera Medea with Maria Callas at La Scala in Milan. His works of composition include the symphony Jeremiah (1943), and his 1963 symphony Kaddish, dedicated to the memory of President Kennedy. He also composed music for stage musicals including Candide (1956) and the Broadway sensation (and later movie) West Side Story (1957). His lifelong committment to humanitarian causes led to him being awarded the National Fellowship Award and an international peace prize, the Praemium Imperiate. Among his many other honours and awards were New York City’s Handel Medallion, France’s Legion d’Honneur, and a Tony Award recognising his lifelong achievements in the theatre. In 1989 he conducted a special concert in Berlin to mark the tearing down of the Wall. He died the following year. Several hundred recordings were made of his performances.
By Larry Buttrose

Wikipedia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Bernstein

Parent Catagory Page Links: Classical Composers - USA / America Classical Conductors - USA / America
Classical Musicians - America

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