Though he started as a pianist, Austrian born Leinsdorf became one of the twentieth century's greatest conductors of Opera, directing classic renditions of Turendot and Madame Butterfly. His work with symphonic pieces was nearly as awe-inspiring, as his inscrutable attention to detail led to some of the finest renditions of orchestral performances. This same perfectionism did not enamor him with his soloists and performers, who had to spend long, grueling hours in practice. As an assistant to Toscanini, Leinsdorf learned well, eventually winning prestigious positions with ensembles such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In terms of dynamic control, Leinsdorf was able to wield instruments like a painter uses a paintbrush: mixing and layering, never over-balancing one group to the dismay of the others, perfectly enrapturing the audience with a palette of tonal colors.