Jews, Church, & Civilization VII

INTRODUCTION

popular music, for his flamboyant conducting style, and for his pedagogic flair, especially in concerts for young people.

Bernstein played piano from age 10. He attended Boston Latin School; Harvard University (A.B., 1939), where he took courses in music theory with Arthur Tillman Merritt and counterpoint with Walter Piston; the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia (1939–41), where he studied conducting with Fritz Reiner and orchestration with Randall Thompson; and the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, Mass., where he studied conducting with Serge Koussevitzky.

In 1943, Bernstein was appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic; the first signal of his forthcoming success came on Nov. 14, 1943, when he was summoned unexpectedly to substitute for the conductor Bruno Walter. His technical self–assurance under difficult circumstances and his interpretive excellence made an immediate impression and marked the beginning of a brilliant career. He subsequently conducted the New York City Center orchestra (1945–47) and appeared as guest conductor in the United States, Europe, and Israel. In 1953 he became the first American to conduct at La Scala in Milan.

From 1958 to 1969 Bernstein was conductor and musical director of the New York Philharmonic, becoming the first American–born holder of those posts. With this orchestra, he made several international tours in Latin America, Europe, the Soviet Union, and Japan. His popularity increased through his appearances not only as conductor and pianist but also as a commentator and entertainer. Bernstein explained classical music to young listeners on such television shows as “Omnibus” and “Young People’s Concerts.” After 1969, he continued to write music and

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