Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim. He was probably best known to the public as the longtime music director of the New York Philharmonic, for conducting concerts by many of the world's leading orchestras, and for writing the music for West Side Story, Candide, and On the Town. Bernstein was the first classical music conductor to make numerous television appearances, perhaps more than any other classical conductor, all between 1954 and 1989. He had a formidable piano technique and as a composer wrote many types of music from Broadway shows to symphonies. According to the New York Times, he was "one of the most prodigally talented and successful musicians in American history."