The Lettered Bernstein
By the time Leonard Bernstein died in 1990, he was unquestionably America’s best-known classical musician. Yet his achievements were viewed with persistent skepticism by critics and scholars. They acknowledged his wide-ranging talents—he was equally gifted as a conductor, a pianist, and a composer of music for both the concert hall and the musical-comedy stage—but his underlying seriousness was always in question.
About the Author
Terry Teachout, Commentary’s critic-at-large and the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal, is the author of Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, out this month from Gotham Books.