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Wilderness Walk: An Ode to a Legend

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Minnesota Wild v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Ladies and Gentleman, 100 years and a few days ago, something amazing happened. Leonard Bernstein was born.

I’ll save the full schtick, but suffice to say he became the single greatest American conductor and teacher in history. He was also an incredible composer, and some would say again the greatest American composer in history- though for me that honor goes to Aaron Copland (you DON’T want to get me started).

Bernstein is perhaps best known for composing the music for West Side Story, the incredible musical with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. He also wrote Candide, an opera based on the book by the same name. He wrote several ballets and assorted other pieces for concert band, orchestra, and other ensembles. He was a genius.

Saturday was his (or would have been his) one hundredth birthday. So we celebrate! I present the overture to “Candide,” his opera. It’s glorious, as is his conducting.

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