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."
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, continuing until his death.
To composer Ned Rorem: The trouble with you and me, Ned, is that we want everyone in the world to personally love us, and of course that's impossible: you just don't meet everyone in the world.
Any great work of art ... revives and readapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world — the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air.
Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything: music, language, clothes, it's a whole new social revolution — the 60's comes from it.
Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.
To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.
To be a success as a Broadway composer, you must be Jewish or gay. I'm both.