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Leonard Bernstein, a 20th Century Musical Genius DR. LAWRENCE E. ANDERSON Founding Director, Danville Community Band Few people ever reach the pinnacle of their life’s work while engaged in so many different aspects of their careers. One exception is Leonard Bernstein, lauded as one of the greatest American composers of the 20th Century. He was noted for “doing it all;” a composer, orchestrator, pianist, conductor, author and music educator. He not only indulged in all of the above but truly excelled in them. As a young man Bernstein was heralded as the American ‘Wonder Boy’ of the 1940s. “Bernstein became the first American conductor of international celebrity,” wrote Ethan Mordden in A Guide To Orchestral Music, “The only composer since George Gershwin to attempt a rapprochement between the popular native sound and the penetration of serious music.”


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