Internationally acclaimed musician and educator who composed the music to "West Side Story," "Wonderful Town," and other popular musicals.
He was the accompanist for The Reviewers, a comedy troupe comprised of lyricist and playwright Adolph Green, Green's comedienne and writing partner Betty Comden, and Broadway and film performer Judy Holliday.
He embraced the new medium of television in 1954, becoming the first conductor to give televised lectures on classical music, a practice that continued throughout the rest of his life.
He married Felicia Montealegre on September 10, 1951, in spite of his rumored homosexuality. They had three children together.
He was close to the Kennedy family and conducted the 1968 funeral mass for Robert F. Kennedy, following the public figure's shocking assassination.