Sir Thomas Beecham

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Beecham, Sir Thomas

(bē`chəm), 1879–1961, English conductor. Beecham was educated at Oxford but did not attend any formal music school. Early in his career as a conductor and producer, he introduced his fellow countrymen to the operas of Richard Strauss, many Russian operas, and the Russian ballet. In 1932 he organized the London Philharmonic Orchestra, forging it into one of the world's finest orchestras, and in 1932 he became artistic director of Covent Garden Opera, London. A frequent conductor of the Hallé Orchestra, Manchester until 1942, he later appeared (1942–43) with the New York Philharmonic and with the Metropolitan Opera, New York. In 1946 he organized the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London.

Beecham wrote a biography (1958) of Delius, whose music he championed; he also excelled at interpreting Mozart, Haydn, Handel, Berlioz, and Sibelius. He was known for his exquisite phrasing, his ability to masterfully unfold a melodic line, his fine sense of proportion, his combination of power and delicacy, and his insight into the unique styles of various composers. For his services to British music, Beecham was knighted in 1916; he also had enormous international influence. His versatility and high standards of excellence are attested to by numerous recordings.


See his autobiography (1944); biography by C. Reid (1961).

References in periodicals archive ?
Sir Thomas Beecham y Bruno Walter dirigieron obras suyas, y Mahler se intereso en producir su opera Wreckers.
Well, maybe Sir Thomas Beecham or Sir Adrian Boult, but close enough.
If she is remembered today, it may be primarily for her Mimi in what is widely regarded as the finest recording of Puccini's La Boheme ever made, opposite the Rodolfo of Jussi Bjoerling and under the baton of Sir Thomas Beecham.
Jeal rushes through events at breakneck speed, never giving his narrative time to breathe; he reminded me of Sir Thomas Beecham racing through a Beethoven symphony so that he could get to the pub before closing time.
Many years ago in London the great conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, despairing of widespread absences during the rehearsals of a particularly tricky new piece, finally thanked the leading flutist for having been the only one present at every rehearsal.
1916) London: Six-week opera seasons open at Covent Garden under Sir Thomas Beecham.
Without the timely intervention of Sir Thomas Beecham, for example, Delius's name would probably have been relegated to a footnote of music history.
How often are our attitudes and actions like that cellist Who during a rehearsal Sir Thomas Beecham was conducting Kept picking apart the music with her bow In a kind of anal retentive snit Till Beecham finally blew his stack and said "Madame God has given you a precious gift between your legs And all you do is scratch it" A rain can be delicate as a black widow's web Or mysterious as a kiss that comes from love Yet we often damn it as "this fucking rain" Or snow descending can resemble the footprints of the angels Or gallop about like a wild crack Cossack cavalry Yet how many snows are "a son-of-a-bitch" to you and me?
Classical Beecham Collection "Live Recordings" Beecham / RPO / BBC SO (SOMM SOMM-BEECHAM 32) Sir Thomas Beecham may now be most fondly remembered as a passionate advocate, and unmatched interpreter, of Delius.
1932: The London Philharmonic Orchestra gave its first concert under creator Sir Thomas Beecham.
Fifty years after his death, the name Sir Thomas Beecham still looms large on record.
In 1956, however, Marshall made her London debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Thomas Beecham performing Mozart's Exsultate, jubilate.