Leonard Bernstein (Aug. 25, 1918 – Oct. 14, 1990) was the first American-born leader of a major American orchestra. A globe-trotting conductor, he was a composer whose works included the Broadway classic West Side Story. Bernstein was also passionately devoted to music education and brought his ideas about that to the infant medium of television in the 1950s.
He occasionally was a controversial personality who wore his liberal politics on his sleeve.
Twenty years after his death, AARP takes a look at this figure who loomed large over the world of American culture in the 20th century.
Independent radio producer Steve Rowland has this audio appreciation.