“Lenny,” “Lenyushka”, … “Maestro”

These monikers tell you a lot about the unique place of Leonard Bernstein in the history of American music.

He hated to be called “Lenny” by strangers, but he became such a familiar, human and loved international figure that it was inevitable. No other symphony conductor of his era (when legendary podium masters were both revered and feared) could have been addressed so unceremoniously. He made classical music an integral part of the ordinary American home.

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Jim FungComment