Leonard Bernstein (19918-1990) is an american composer, conductor, pianist and pedagogue. One of his most famous master was Aaron Copland and he studied in Harvard University. He began as an assistant for Serge Koussevitzky and then for the Philharmornic Orchestra of New York. He was known in 1954 thanks to the TV when he conducted the Symphony of the Air Orchestra. After this event he presented the Young’s People Concert, a TV program, where he taught playfully for children classical music.
He got an international recognition for his work with the Philharmonic Orchestra of New York where he worked as conductor from 1958 to 1969. He was and is always very famous for his composition of West Side Story, a musical comedy. He conducted most famous formations of the world like the Philharmonic Orchestra of Vienna, the Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the National Orchestra of France,… He was very talented because of his ease in all repertory, even if he had a predilection for Gustav Mahler (he said: « Mahler, it’s me »).
He wrote three ballets (Fancy Free, Facsimile, Dybbuk), three opera (Trouble in Tahiti, Candide, A Quiet Place), three simphony,… many other things like musical comedy or music for films and for choral or chamber music. I really advice you to listen to Bernstein’s work. It is amazing how he can change of repertory jazz or classical a kind of thing wich is very difivult for musicians, moreover for a conductor! But if you don’t like classical music, at least you must see West Side Story by Robert Wise (1961) with Jerome Robbins as choreographer for our culture!