“Thus has begun — with nearly 2,500 events around the globe — Anno Leonardo, or the Year of Lenny,” writes music critic Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times January 11, 2018.
Swed summarizes the legacy of America’s beloved Leonard Bernstein, “the first great American conductor”:
He became the first classical music television star. He proved an inspired educator and first-rate pianist. He was the first internationally esteemed conductor everyone, whether you knew him or not, called by the familiar, Lenny. For better and worse, Lenny was bigger than life — a shaman, even.
Above all, Bernstein was a conflicted composer. He planted one foot gleefully in the popular culture of Broadway; the other incautious and questing one sought footing in the slippery realm of classical.
Follow Mark Swed on Twitter @markswed.