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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.
WORKSA Mingled Chime. . . , vols. 1–2. London, 1944. (Autobiographical.)
Frederick Delius. London, 1959.
REFERENCESSmyth E. Beecham and Pharaoh. London, 1935.
Cardus N. Sir Thomas Beecham. London, 1962.