T he ever-so-helpful publicist at Tanglewood was insistent. “Unless you hear otherwise,” she chirruped, “he will want you to call him ‘Lenny’.” To everyone, everywhere, he was simply ‘Lenny’.

Leonard Bernstein. Photo © Susesch Bayat / Deutsche Grammophon 

It was very hard calling Leonard Bernstein by that name. Even his family had some difficulty with it. When he was born – on August 23, 1918, in Lawrence, a Jewish...

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