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Wednesday Sep 24, 2008

Leonard Bernstein at the Bowl

It was more than twenty years ago.

My dear mother, Adele, was excited. We were at the Hollywood Bowl on a cool Los Angeles evening. Leonard Bernstein was giving a concert. The Bowl was nearly packed. People had brought wine and food for a night under the stars, and a few managed to twinkle through the dissipated haze.

The show began. Lots of applause. Adele and I were ready. We were sitting on a blanket high up on the hill. Then, instead of any familiar compositions, Bernstein confronted the audience with a variety of dissonant sounds. Popular scores from Westside Story would not play out this evening.