Bernstein, who died in 1990 at the age of 72, rose to fame at the age of 25 when he was called upon to fill in for the New York Philharmonic's guest conductor Bruno Walter, who had fallen ill. He proved an instant sensation and was named director of the New York City Symphony only two years later. For many Americans, however, the composer and conductor was best known for his work in the musical theatre, which, aside from the beloved West Side Story and On the Town, included Wonderful Town, a 1950 Peter Pan, and 1976's 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., his last musical.
Flip through photos of his Broadway work below:
From On the Town to West Side Story: Celebrate the Work of Leonard Bernstein