Our Music Director John DeMain met Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood Music Festival in 1971 – a meeting that would forever shape and influence his conducting career. In the centennial year of Lenny’s birth, John remembers his encounters with Bernstein in a recent conversation with WPR’s Norman Gilliland.

“He was so consumed with love for music … it just poured out of every ounce of his body, his being,” DeMain said. “When you worked with him, whether you were a performer or conducting his piece or whatever it may be, he brought that to you.”

Listen to the full interview with Norman Gilliland

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The Madison Symphony Orchestra will celebrate Bernstein in our 2018-2019 season with concerts titled Remembering Lenny, November 9-11. The first half celebrates Lenny the composer, and features Overture to Candide, Three Dances from On the Town, and Symphony No. 2: Age of Anxiety with guest pianist Christopher Taylor. The second half celebrates Lenny the composer with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 – the last piece Bernstein ever conducted. Learn more and buy tickets.