Leonard Bernstein's Omnibus: The Art of Conducting

Episode 3

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Program notes

This third Omnibus episode hosted by Leonard Bernstein was broadcast three weeks after The World of Jazz (Bernstein's second episode). It explains the role played by conductors in an orchestral performance. While conducting the first movement of Brahms' First Symphony, Bernstein jokingly comments, "you see, they don't need me, they do perfectly well by themselves!"

Launched by the Ford Foundation in the 1950s as a way of improving Americans' cultural knowledge, the hit television series quickly drew a cult following, winning multiple awards, including no less than seven Emmys. It was broadcast first by ABC, then CBS, and finally NBC. offers here the seven episodes curated and hosted by Leonard Bernstein, episodes in which he made his TV debut as a music educator. To say that these appearances proved incredibly successful is an understatement: on November 29, 1954—just 15 days after the critically-acclaimed first episode on Beethoven's Fifth Symphony—he was on the cover of Life magazine!

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