One of his friends at Harvard was philosopher Donald Davidson with whom he played piano four hands. In 1951 Bernstein conducted the New York Philharmonic in the world première of the Symphony No. The opening night (which Bernstein attended in Glasgow) was conducted by Bernstein's former student John Mauceri.
" He is quite possibly the conductor whose name is best known to the public in general especially the American public. His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras and from his music for West Side Story as well as Candide Wonderful Town On the Town and his own Mass.