Sep 30, 2013

Spring 1978: Aaron Takes Me to Leonard Bernstein's Mass

When I was a kid, my church had no problem with classical music, but my parents hated "that longhair stuff," so there was none in the house.  My first exposure to Bach, Berlioz, Beethoven, and Mozart came through a series of Young People's Concerts (1958-72) which appeared occasionally on Sunday afternoons, hosted by famous composer Leonard Bernstein.

Later, when I joined the school orchestra, I learned more about Leonard Bernstein.

I saw his gay symbolism-heavy musicals, On the Town (1949), starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, and West Side Story (1961), starring gay actor George Chakiris, left, and assorted high-stepping hunks.

And his Symphony #3, Kaddish, named after the Jewish prayer for the dead.

He appeared on tv, conducting Gershwin in 1974, Mahler in 1975, and Beethoven in 1982.

No one ever mentioned that he was gay.  His works revealed nothing, except maybe the Serenade for Solo Violin, Strings, Harp, and Percussion, after Plato's Symposium (1954).  The Symposium contains Plato's famous defense of same-sex love.

The full post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood