The WDR honoured the composer on his memorial day with these words: Composer, conductor, pacifist, entertainer, pianist, pedagogue, author – Leonard Bernstein was many things, just not boring. He was a star, one of the most successful composers and musicians of the 20th century. But he died full of self-doubt: at the end of his life he felt that his talent had been wasted. (WDR)

Leonard Bernstein studied at Harvard University in Cambridge (Massachusetts) and is today regarded as one of the outstanding personalities of international music life and as the typical American composer of the 20th century. He has gained international recognition both as a conductor and as a composer. His career as a conductor began as a replacement for the ailing conductor Bruno Walter, whom he replaced on 14 November 1943. Subsequently he was guest conductor of almost all renowned orchestras in the USA. As a composer, his compositional technique is characteristic, almost always showing improvisational dexterity, a certain sense of effective drama and a desire for expressiveness. Translated with (free version)

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