Stokowski, Leopold, 1882-1977

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1882-04-18
Death 1977-09-13
Americans
German, English, French, Russian, Spanish; Castilian

Biographical notes:

Epithet: conductor

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000471.0x0002db

Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) was an American conductor. Upon graduating from the Royal College of Music in 1900, Stokowski performed as an organist and choral director for several years in England, Europe, and the U.S. before becoming director of the Cincinnati Orchestra in 1909. His distinguished conducting career included appearances and directorships with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, American Youth Orchestra, New York City Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, NBC Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and American Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the twentieth century, Stokowski aggressively promoted modern and late Romantic music, combining an avant-garde approach with a traditional glamour that drew diverse audiences to his performances. Today he is perhaps most well known for his collaboration with Walt Disney on the movie Fantasia.

From the description of Leopold Stokowski papers, 1908-1982 (1910-1920). (University of Maryland Libraries). WorldCat record id: 297232264

American conductor.

From the description of Collection of Orchestral Transcriptions, ca. 1905-1977. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155862201

From the description of Leopold Stokowski papers, 1916-1994. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155862196

From the description of Collection of Scores, ca. 1800-1974. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155862200

From the description of Correspondence with Leighton Rollins, 1954-1955 (inclusive). (Yale University). WorldCat record id: 702121438

From the description of Correspondence with Leighton Rollins, 1954-1955 (inclusive). (Yale University). WorldCat record id: 122548887

American conductor of British birth, and Polish and Irish parentage.

From the description of Typewritten letter signed, dated : Philadelphia Oct. 21 1926, to [Walter] Damrosch, 1926 Oct. 21. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270670163

From the description of Typewritten letter signed, dated : New York, Nov. 25 1970, to Charles Ryskamp, 1970 Nov. 25. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270670168

From the description of Typewritten letters signed (3) and letter in the third person, dated : Philadelphia, 1916-1930 [and n.d.], to Harry Harkness Flagler, 1916-1930 [and n.d.], including 1916 Apr. 24. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270670166

Orchestra conductor.

From the description of Letter, 1924. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 34035832

Leopold Stokowski was born in London 18 April 1882. After completing studies at the Royal College of Music in 1900 at the age of 18, he formed a choir at St. Mary's, Charing Cross Road (1900-1901). The next year he received an appointment as organist and choir director at St. James, Piccadilly. From 1905 to 1908 he was the choirmaster at St. Bartholomew's, New York and in 1908 he made his debut in Paris. His first appointment as conductor of a symphony orchestra came in 1909, when he became the director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Despite his lack of experience, the organization improved immensely over the next three years under Stokowski's leadership. As a result he won an appointment as the conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1912.

Stokowski led the Philadelphia Orchestra for 24 years, from 1912 until 1936, remaining associated with the organization until 1941. Because of his interest in new music the Philadelphia Orchestra gave several U.S. premieres during his tenure including Alban Berg's Wozzeck and Gustav Mahler's Eighth Symphony. Stokowski also became affiliated with modernist chamber music societies in New York City. It was through one of these, the International Composers' Guild, that he offered the U.S. premiere of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring . Stokowski's musical showmanship and high public profile also earned him the spot of conductor for the Walt Disney film Fantasia (1940).

After leaving the Philadelphia Orchestra, Stokowski had a series of brief appointments with orchestras of his own creation, including the All-American Youth Orchestra (1940-41), the New York City Symphony (1944), and the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra (1945). In 1941-42, Stokowski served as conductor of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The next season Arturo Toscanini, Stokowskis sometime-rival, joined him as co-conductor; they worked together two years. Several years of work with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra followed. His last major appointments were with the Houston Symphony Orchestra (1955-60) and the American Symphony Orchestra (1962-72). Toward the end of his life, Stokowski returned to London where he remained until his death in 1977.

From the guide to the Leopold Stokowski Papers, 1908-1982, 1910-1920, (Special Collections in Performing Arts)

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http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6ww7fpv
Ark ID:
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SNAC ID:
57271339

Subjects:

  • Keyboard instrument music
  • Songs (medium voice) with piano
  • Songs with piano
  • Symphonies--Scores and parts
  • Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices, 4 parts), Unaccompanied--Scores
  • Marches (Orchestra)--Scores
  • Music--Manuscripts
  • Overtures (Violin and piano), Arranged--Scores
  • String orchestra music--Scores and parts
  • Indians of North America--Music
  • Spirituals--Instrumental settings
  • Orchestral music--Scores
  • Trios (Flute, harp, violoncello)--Scores and parts
  • Conductors (Music)
  • Christmas music
  • Vocal octets, Unaccompanied--Scores
  • Piano music
  • Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices, 4 parts), Unaccompanied
  • Amens (Music)
  • Musical sketches
  • Pageants
  • Conductors (Music)--Correspondence
  • Orchestral music

Occupations:

  • Arrangers
  • Conductor

Places:

  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Westminster, Middlesex (as recorded)