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Leonard Bernstein

A Minute with Miles

The year 2018 marked the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein’s life was, more dramatically and certainly more publicly than most, a life of dualities. 

He grew up on music of the synagogue, but also on jazz. He was a conductor, and also a composer; a classical composer, and also a Broadway composer; a great teacher and completely devoted servant of music, and also an extraordinarily egotistical exhibitionist; a lover of women and also of men; an astonishingly self-indulgent human being and a remarkably generous one. He was staggeringly talented and successful and also a person of unfulfilled dreams. But here’s the truth: as the years go by his personal qualities will fade completely in importance, but his music and his legacy will last, and all that will matter is that Leonard Bernstein enriched the lives of millions and left the world a better place.

This has been A Minute with Miles – a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

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Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.