Leonard Bernstein

credit Jack Mitchell

He was one of the greatest all-rounders in 20th century music. As a conductor, he did outstanding work in all areas of the repertoire. He also made a major contribution to the performance of Gustav Mahler´s music, instituting the post-war renaissance of this composer. As a composer, he straddled the severely drawn boundaries between classical and popular music, and with his "West Side Story", created one of the great classic musicals. In countless books, lectures and introductory remarks at concerts, he concerned himself with the communication of musical ideas, reaching an audience of millions. When Bernstein died in 1990, Vienna´s grand old man of operatic music, Dr. Marcel Prawy, wrote: "Mozart was the greatest composer, but where are his books? Schopenhauer was the greatest philosopher, but where are his compositions?" Only one man managed to combine truly great music, he said, with genuinely profound philosophical insight: Leonard Bernstein.

Born on August 25, 1918 in Lawrence, Massachusetts

Died on October 14, 1990 in New York