Leonard Bernstein Paul Myers

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As conductor, pianist, composer, television personality and, above all, communicator, Leonard Bernstein (1918-90) was one of the most famous and documented musicians of the twentieth century.

The creator of the Broadway masterpiece, West Side Story, Bernstein was the first American conductor to conquer Europe on its own terms, and the first classical musician to harness the power of television. Critics rejected his flamboyant conducting style, his extravagant persona and many of his serious compositions, but to aspiring musicians he was of profound influence.

This new biography draws on the author's personal acquaintance with Bernstein over a period of 20 years, exploring in depth the contradictions that are revealed in the composer's public and private worlds.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 220 x 156 mm (8 5/8 x 6 1/8 in)
  • Pages: 240 pp
  • ISBN: 9780714837017

Paul Myers is a freelance classical record producer whose work for Decca and Colombia (now Sony) and Naxos brought him into contact with Bernstein over many years.

"Paul Myers writes concisely and entertainingly... Will make readers long to hear the music."—Times Literary Supplement

On the 20th Century Composers Series

"As a series, Phaidon's 20th Century Composers has brought remarkable variety and a welter of information, both necessary and delightfully trivial. Intended both for the general reader and for the more enthusiastically musical."—The Scotsman

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