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This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general. Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Mark Watters on playing for Bernstein (and other Bernstein memories)


Leonard Bernstein was a grand character (who actually wore a cape!) yet he was also famed for being down to earth and relatable when presenting music.  

These contrasting sides of Bernstein and the impression he left came through in conversation with Mark Watters this week. 

Watters has been in Rochester for just over a year as the director of the Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to being an Emmy-winning conductor and composer, he plays saxophone.

When he was out in Hollywood he would occasionally get called to play with the LA Philharmonic. One of the times, the conductor was the legendary Leonard Bernstein.  

Click below to hear Mark Watters share stories of playing for "Lenny" as well as some thoughts on what Bernstein's legacy means for musicians and listeners today.

Check out more memories collected on the official Bernstein website and a few music lessons from Leonard Bernstein: