west side story


Over the last few months, during Classical 101's Bernstein Summer, you've enjoyed our Bernstein Minutes on-air and online, along with countless performances of Leonard Bernstein's fabulous music in the run-up to the Aug. 25 centennial of his birth. 

Library of Congress / leonardbernstein.com

For the 1961 movie West Side Story, composer Leonard Bernstein was not the conductor. 

United Artists

Even if you’ve never seen the 1957 hit musical West Side Story, I'll bet you can hum the tune from "Tonight," "Maria," "America" or any number of the show's signature songs and dance pieces on command.

color photo of Leonard Bernstein conducting
New York Philharmonic / youtube.com/watch?v=fHPRWEpyxfM

The year is 1941. War is raging in Europe.

Here on the home front, Leonard Bernstein is 23 years old, a student at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music and a mentee of two legendary conductors — Fritz Reiner and Serge Koussevitzky.


Sixty years later, Deborah Kerr still gets the glamor, but the singing voice in this iconic clip belongs not to her, but to California born soprano Marni Nixon who died July 24 at the age of 86:

10:00 Even if you haven't seen it on stage, you've probably seen the movie or at least heard the story... The West Side Story. On this hour of "All Sides," we'll talk to an author who's written the book on that story, as well as two actresses from the touring company that's in Columbus this weekend. Guests