The ultimate badass on the left is Professor Dan Lewis who conducted USC Symphony while I was a student there, and taught many successful conductors such as William Eddins and John Morris Russell.
Zubin, Seiji, Sir Simon, Valery, Pierre, etc.? I thought Mr. Lewis was the equal of any of these eminences that I've had the good fortune to work with, and to this day I think he is one of the best conductors I've ever seen. Moreover, he was a passionate and inspiring educator. He instilled cultured music making in all of us who came in contact with him at USC. Along with Dennis Trembly and Paul Ellison, Mr. Lewis was the most important teacher I had during my time there.
Edwin Outwater and I had a wonderful lunch with Mr. Lewis at La Barca back in the early 2000's. Mr. Lewis; "When I got to USC in 1970, Bovard Auditorium had no acoustical shell whatsoever for the orchestra. USC assured me that a complete remodel of Bovard Auditorium was forthcoming. Meanwhile, the head of the composition department and I built a temporary shell out of scrap lumber in my backyard. Thirty years later, that god-damned thing is still there!!!" At that same lunch, Mr. Lewis thought his taco salad had too many vegetables in it. With a broad, good natured smile he bellowed to the waiter "I can't eat this, man, it's rabbit food!!!" Rehearsing USC Symphony in Faure "Pelleas and Melisande." (Exasperated); "Haven't you all ever fallen in love? When I was your age, it happened to me every week!" I love these lines from Mr. Lewis' bio on Wikipedia. Says a lot about the man he was; "Lewis enlisted in the US Navy during World War II and served in the Pacific. In order to provide a better life for his large family in San Diego, Lewis often worked extra jobs at night. He would perform at night in various orchestras such as Starlight Opera and the San Diego ice show. From time to time he also taught violin to private students. This enabled the family to maintain a nice 2-story home in San Diego with a large yard and plenty of room for six children." Rest in peace Mr. Lewis. I know Lenny and Wilhelm and the rest of your peers are happy to see you.