Thomas Beecham


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Beecham, Thomas

 

Born Apr. 29, 1879, in Liverpool; died Mar. 8, 1961, in London. English conductor, opera and ballet impresario, public figure in music.

Beecham made his debut in 1905 and became famous mainly for his productions of works by F. Delius, W. A. Mozart, R. Strauss, and I. Stravinsky. He was associated with the production of 120 operas, including 60 new or rarely performed operas. In 1911 he organized the first appearance of S. P. Diaghilev’s ballet troupe in England, and in 1913 he organized the first staging of Russian opera with F. I. Chaliapin in the title roles. Beecham was the founder, manager, and conductor of the British National Opera Company and several of the largest orchestras (including the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1932 and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1947) as well as festivals (in London, 1929; Leeds, 1932; Salzburg, 1932; and Glyndebourne in 1948 and 1949). He also directed the International Opera Seasons at the Covent Garden Theater (from 1933) and was the main conductor of this theater. Beecham made many guest tours. He worked in the USA at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

WORKS

A Mingled Chime. . . , vols. 1–2. London, 1944. (Autobiographical.)
Frederick Delius. London, 1959.

REFERENCES

Smyth E. Beecham and Pharaoh. London, 1935.
Cardus N. Sir Thomas Beecham. London, 1962.
References in periodicals archive ?
A Samuel Mecon B Daniel King C Thomas Beecham D Randall Thomas 3.
1879: Conductor Sir Thomas Beecham was born in St Helens.
| 1932: The London Philharmonic Orchestra gave its first concert in the now demolished Queen's Hall in London, with Sir Thomas Beecham conducting.
There were visits by the Old Vic theatre company and Sadler's Wells ballet; Benjamin Britten conducted his own operas at the Royal Court, and Thomas Beecham and Leopold Stokowski directed concerts.
A specialist in British music, artists and musical history, his many programmes included documentaries on Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir Malcom Sargent, Dame Maggie Teyte, Eric Fenby and E J Moeran.
1961: Sir Thomas Beecham, English conductor and founder of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, died.
Thomas Beecham conducted the British premiere at Covent Garden in 1913.
Sir Thomas Beecham was one of the most flamboyant and popular British conductors of the 20th century, famous for his wealthy background (he was the heir to the Beecham Pills fortune), his wit and the women in his life.
And finally, in case my nostalgia seems limited, I also, with my first girlfriend Mavis, saw Sir Thomas Beecham at the Empire, Laurel and Hardy at the New Theatre on their final tour, Danny Kaye and Benjamin Gigli at Sophia Gardens Pavilion (not on the same bill) and still regale Cardiff City supporters with my first football match: Cardiff City 1, Moscow Dynamo 10.
Well, maybe Sir Thomas Beecham or Sir Adrian Boult, but close enough.
While spring and summer sang; Thomas Beecham and the music of Frederick Delius.
The Woking, Surrey, native started as a producer of summer shows and tours for musical stem (including a-young Julie An drews), managed Thomas Beecham and the Royal Philharmonic and introduced a series of Sunday concerts at the Opera House in Blackpool, which became a 30-year tradition and drew such stars as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Danny Kaye.