Leopold Stokowski


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Stokowski, Leopold

(stəkŏf`skē), 1882–1977, American conductor, b. London. Stokowski studied in England and at the Paris Conservatory. He was organist and choirmaster at St. Bartholomew's Church, New York City (1905–8), and was conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony (1909–12). As conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra (1912–36) he became known for brilliant interpretation and performance; he introduced unknown contemporary works and, with his own controversial transcriptions, popularized much of Bach's music. Stokowski continued to conduct for part of each season until 1941. In 1940 he organized the All-American Youth Orchestra. He was co-conductor, with Toscanini, of the NBC Symphony Orchestra (1942–43). Stokowski was musical supervisor of Walt Disney's film Fantasia (1940), in which he also appeared. He was conductor of many renowned orchestras for brief periods. Stokowski was influential in the improvement of music-recording techniques. In 1962 he founded the American Symphony Orchestra, New York City, a forum for young performers. His first wife was the pianist and teacher Olga Samaroff.

Bibliography

See his Music for All of Us (1943).

Stokowski, Leopold

 

Born Apr. 18, 1882, in London; died Sept. 13, 1977, in Nether Wallop, England. American conductor.

Stokowski graduated from the Royal College of Music in London and took advanced training in Paris and Berlin. He made his conducting debut in London in 1908. From 1912 to 1936 he conducted and toured with the Philadelphia Orchestra, to which he brought world renown. Stokowski also conducted other major American orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic. He founded the American Symphony Orchestra in New York in 1962.

Stokowski was one of the prominent representatives of American music in the world. He attracted large audiences through his inventiveness, and introduced the public to the newest complex works of American composers. He rearranged the seating of orchestra members on stage and used lighting effects in the concert hall. Stokowski became popular as a result of his radio broadcasts, films, and early phonograph recordings. In the 1940’s, some of his recordings were the standard against which the quality of recordings was measured. He played an important role in popularizing music, conducting a series of concerts for children and young people and establishing the All-American Youth Orchestra and other orchestras, including those whose members were amateur musicians; some amateur orchestras later became professional.

Stokowski wrote the book Music for All of Us (1943) and composed musical works. He toured the USSR in 1958.

L. M. GINZBURG

Stokowski, Leopold (b. Antoni Stanislaw Boleslawowicz)

(1882–1977) conductor; born in London, England. After musical studies in London, Paris, and Germany, Stokowski came to the U.S.A. in 1905 and four years later was named conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony. He left that post in 1912 for a long and celebrated tenure as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, in which he cultivated a popular but later dated creaminess of sound. Stokowski became the great matinee idol of conductors—that despite his bold championing of advanced composers including Varèse, Berg, and Schoenberg—and was for awhile linked with Greta Garbo. Resigning from Philadelphia in 1938, he went on to conduct for shorter periods orchestras including the NBC Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony (1955–62), and American Symphony (1962–73), the latter of which he founded. His popularity is reflected in the fact that he appeared in several movies, notably One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937) and Fantasia (1940).
References in periodicals archive ?
En una de sus muchas noches de cena solitaria en el Chasen's, coincidio con el director Leopold Stokowski, tambien solo, que se paso a su mesa y le revelo su gran admiracion por Blanca Nieves y Pinocho; Disney le conto la idea de El aprendiz y Stokowski la hizo crecer.
She sang with many of the greatest conductors, including Walter, George Szell, Leopold Stokowski, Otto Klemperer, Fritz Reiner, Josef Krips, Herbert yon Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir John Barbirolli, Eugene Ormandy, William Steinberg, Igor Markevitch, Lorin Maazel, Ferenc Fricsay, Zubin Mehta, Hermann Scherchen, Seiji Ozawa and Sk Andrew Davis.
Fortunately for the dream, the Boks also were on a friendly basis with other leading musicians of the day, including Leopold Stokowski, then musical director of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Albrecht Music Library of the University of Pennsylvania has used this capability to create an exhibit on Leopold Stokowski that combines text, images, and sound files to introduce visitors to this famous conductor.
Like countless other music-lovers, he remembers his first big orchestral concert, when "[m]y closest friend, just a year before he died on the operating table at fourteen [this is a typical Booth touch], invited me to go with his family north to the big city to hear Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra in the Mormon Tabernacle.
The roster of conductors who have performed Still's works includes Pierre Monteux, Antal Dorati, Sir John Barbirolli, Fritz Reiner, Eugene Ormandy, George Szell, Eric Leinsdorf, Leopold Stokowski, Artur Rodzinski, Sir Hamilton Hardy, Eugene Goossens, Guy Fraser Harrison, Howard Hanson, and Otto Klemperer.
Cowell was so highly regarded that, even while he was serving time in San Quentin for engaging in homosexual sex, Leopold Stokowski was able to get him a temporary furlough so the two could tour together with a youth orchestra.
With her first four films, One Hundred Men and A Girl with Leopold Stokowski, Three Smart Girls, Mad About Music and That Certain Age, Durbin's stardom Rivalled that of 20th Century-Fox's Shirley Temple.
The Fourth Symphony of Charles Ives was performed for the first time by Leopold Stokowski and the American Symphony Orchestra.
He offers lots of good stories, including those that enlarge on her relationshipwith her mentor, Mauritz Stiller, actor John Gilbert (with whom she lived for a while), Leopold Stokowski, Gayelord Hauser and others.
Nathaniel Dett Piano Works, with David Oldham as pianist (New World Records NW367-1), and Negro Folk Symphony by William Dawson, with Leopold Stokowski conducting the American Symphony Orchestra (Varese Sarabande VC 81056).
His predecessors include Leopold Stokowski, Sir John Barbirolli, Lawrence Foster, Christoph Eschenbach and Hans Graf.