Boston Symphony Orchestra


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Boston Symphony Orchestra,

founded in 1881 by Henry Lee Higginson, who was its director and financial backer until 1918. The orchestra performed at the Old Boston Music Hall for nearly 20 years until the 2,625-seat Symphony Hall was built in 1900; its concerts continue to be held there. The Boston Symphony's conductors have included Sir George HenschelHenschel, Sir George
, 1850–1934, German-English conductor, composer, and baritone. His first appearance (1877) in England was as a singer, and there he and his wife inaugurated (c.1880) the song recital. In 1881 he became the Boston Symphony Orchestra's first conductor.
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 (1881–84), Arthur NikischNikisch, Arthur
, 1855–1922, Hungarian conductor and violinist, grad. Vienna Conservatory, 1873. He played in Wagner's orchestra at the dedication of the Festspielhaus at Bayreuth and with the Vienna court orchestra.
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 (1889–93), Karl Muck (1906–08; 1912–18), Pierre MonteuxMonteux, Pierre
, 1875–1964, French-American conductor, studied at the Paris Conservatory. As conductor (1911–14) of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, he directed the premieres of ballets by Stravinsky, Ravel, and Debussy.
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 (1919–24), Serge KoussevitzkyKoussevitzky, Serge
(Sergei Aleksandrovich Koussevitzky) , 1874–1951, Russian-American conductor, studied in Moscow. He began his career as a double bass player. In 1908 he made his debut as a conductor in Berlin.
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 (1924–49), Charles MünchMünch, Charles
, 1891–1968, French conductor and violinist, b. Alsace. Having conducted and directed orchestras in Paris (1933–48), Münch appeared for three seasons from 1947 as guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and was chief conductor of the
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 (1949–62), Erich LeinsdorfLeinsdorf, Erich
, 1912–93, American conductor, b. Vienna. Leinsdorf studied at the Vienna state academy of music and in 1934 began his conducting career, serving as assistant to Bruno Walter and then to Toscanini at the Salzburg festival.
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 (1962–69), William Steinberg (1969–72), Seiji OzawaOzawa, Seiji
, 1935–, Japanese conductor, b. Japanese-occupied Manchuria. A graduate of the Toho School of Music, Ozawa, who was the first Japanese conductor to gain recognition in the West, won competitions in Europe and the United States and was hired (1961) by the New
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 (1973–2002), James LevineLevine, James,
1943–, American conductor, b. Cincinnati, Ohio. A piano prodigy, he was a soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony at the age of 10. After extensive musical studies, he served (1964–65) as an apprentice to George Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra,
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 (2004–11), and Andris Nelsons (2014–). One of America's oldest orchestras, it has summer activities that include the Tanglewood Music FestivalTanglewood Music Festival,
formerly the Berkshire Festival (until 1984), summer music festival held since 1937 at "Tanglewood," a former estate in the adjoining towns of Stockbridge and Lenox, Mass. The Berkshire Festival was begun in 1934 at a farm in Stockbridge.
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 and the Boston Pops Concerts. The Pops orchestra, which began with "Promenade" concerts in 1885 and has had its present title since 1900, has been conducted by Arthur FiedlerFiedler, Arthur,
1894–1979, American conductor, b. Brookline, Mass. Fiedler, who ultimately became a grandfatherly American musical icon, studied violin with his father, a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
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 (1930–79), John Williams (1980–93), and Keith Lockhart (1995–).

Bibliography

See studies by M. A. De Wolfe Howe (1931); H. E. Dickson (1969); J. Baker-Carr (1977); C. A. Vigeland (1991).

References in periodicals archive ?
Boston Symphony Orchestra Brings Musical Masterpieces to Broad, Global Audience Through Interactive Online Video
An active musician in the Boston area, he recently performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the Boston Lyric Opera.
Join Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine and the Boston Globe's classical music critic Jeremy Eichler for a wide-ranging conversation about the BSO and classical music in the 21st century.
CUTLINE: Violinist Wendy Putnam has spent the summer at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
A spokesman for Sir Bryn said: "Bryn has withdrawn from performances up to and including the Boston Symphony Orchestra dates, the last of which was due to be on February 3.
Mirga Grainyte-Tyla succeeds the dynamic Andris Nelsons, who brought the orchestra to Sage Gateshead to perform and who has now moved on to take over the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the United States - but is destined to move again to take over a famous orchestra in Leipzig.
She replaces Andris Nelsons, who left CBSO to become music director of Boston Symphony Orchestra last year after seven years in the role.
The recordings accentuate the performance of conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Pinchas Zukerman, Leonard Bernstein, Christoph Eschenbach and Claudio Abbado, and orchestras as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Berliner Philharmoniker.
It's odd to be one of the veterans and have a conductor at the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Andris Nelsons, 36, in his first season with the BSO) who is nearly 20 years younger than I am,'' Lockhart said.
Harry Shapiro, second horn in the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1937-1976) and afterwards assistant personnel manager, transportation manager, and manager of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, died in June at age 100.
It will be the music director's seventh season with the Birmingham orchestra before he starts a permanent role at Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2015.
His leadership of San Francisco Symphony is longer than that of Seiji Ozawa with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle's with the CBSO, and almost certainly Rattle's with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.