Leonard Bernstein — legendary composer, conductor and educator — was born 100 years ago.
Bernstein came of age at a time when most major symphonies in the United States were not actually led by Americans. He changed that when he became the principal conductor and music director of the New York Philharmonic. Through his young people’s concerts on TV he taught generations of kids about classical music.
Even though he worked largely in the context of classical music, Bernstein popularity reached rock star status. His compositions for orchestras and in musical theater — especially his percussive work on “West Side Story” — still sound thoroughly modern, decades after they were written.
Leonard Bernstein died in 1990. Now, an exhibit celebrating his legacy has just opened at the Skirball Cultural Center.
The Frame's John Horn spoke with the installation's curator Robert Santelli, who also happens to the founding executive director of the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles.
"Leonard Bernstein at 100" will be at the Skirball through September 2nd.