|Date of Birth||25 August 1918, Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA|
|Date of Death||14 October 1990, New York City, New York, USA (heart attack)|
|Birth Name||Louis Eliezer Bernstein|
Renowned composer (“West Side Story”, “Candide”, “On The Town”), conductor, arranger, pianist, educator, author, TV/radio host, educated at the Boston Latin School and Harvard University (BA) with Walter Piston. Edward Burlingame Hill and A. Tillman Merritt. He studied piano with Helen Coates, Heinrich Gebhard and Isabelle Vengerova, at the Curtis Institute with Fritz Reiner, and at the Berkshire Music Center with Serge Koussevitzky (and became an assistant to Koussevitzky). He was assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic in 1943-1944, and conductor of the New York Symphony, 1945-1948.
He was music advisor to the Israel Philharmonic from 1948-1949, and a member of the faculty at the Berkshire Music Center from 1948 (though he did take leaves of absence), and head of the conducting department there in 1951. He was Professor of Music at Brandeis University, 1951-1956; and co-conductor of the New York Philharmonic, 1957-1958, and music director there after 1958. He won an Emmy award for his televised Young People’s Concerts. He was guest conductor of symphony orchestras in the USA and Europe, and conducted the Israel Philharmonic seven times between 1947 and 1957. He toured the US with Koussevitzky in 1951, and was the first American to conduct at the La Scala Opera House in Milan, in 1953. He was awarded the Sonning Prize in Denmark, and was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
He joined ASCAP in 1944, and his chief musical collaborators included Betty Comden, Adolph Green, John Latouche, and Stephen Sondheim. His song compositions include “New York, New York”, “Lonely Town”, “Some Other Time”, “I Can Cook, Too”, “I Get Carried Away”, “Lucky to Be Me”, “Ohio”, “A Quiet Girl”, “It’s Love”, “A Little Bit in Love”, “Wrong Note Rag”, “Glitter and Be Gay”, “El Dorado”, “The Best of All Possible Worlds”, “Maria”, “Tonight”, “Something’s Coming”, “I Feel Pretty”, “Cool”, “America”, and “Gee, Officer Krupke”.