Good morning on this brilliant Friday.
Leonard Bernstein, the musician and conductor, would have turned 100 years old tomorrow.
Bernstein, who died in 1990 at the age of 72, wrote symphonies and operas as well as scores to ballets and Broadway plays, like “West Side Story,” “On the Town,” “Wonderful Town” and “Candide.” He was also the director of the New York Philharmonic from 1959 to 1969.
“He was eclectic down to his fingernails,” said Humphrey Burton, a friend of Bernstein’s who also wrote the biography “Leonard Bernstein.” “He’s not your average classical composer. He’s not your average showbiz composer, either. He struck a chord with a far broader range of listeners than the norm.”
He was the rare kind of classical music conductor whose fans would lunge at his car and tear at his clothing.
But fame came to Bernstein through a stroke of luck.
A Jewish boy from the Boston suburbs, Bernstein moved to New York City in his early 20s and spent time playing piano at the Village Vanguard in the West Village and working at a ...