Music: Baton for Bernstein

For some time now, two extraordinary institutions—the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Leonard Bernstein—have been at loose ends. The Philharmonic has suffered from an excess of guest batons and a lack of inspired leadership. Leonard

Bernstein, its co-conductor this season, has suffered from an excess of careers—conductor, serious composer, writer of musical comedies, pianist, teacher, celebrity. This week both the Philharmonic and Bernstein moved to put their houses in order: starting next season, the Philharmonic announced, Bernstein, 39, will take over from Dimitri Mitropoulos as the orchestra's musical director.

Choice conducting plums have been dangled in Bernstein's face before, and he has turned...

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