Lees, Benjamin

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Born on January 10, 1910 in Lyon, the French conductor and composer, Jean Martinon entered the Lyon and Paris conservatoires to study the violin. At Lyon, his teacher was Maurice Foundray and at the Paris Conservatory, he studied violin technique with Jules Boucherit. While at the Paris conservatory, Martinon took composition with Albert Roussel and Vincent d’Indy. After completing the composition courses, he studied conducting with Charles Munch and Désormière. He graduated from the Paris Conservatory in 1928, winning a premier prix.

Martinon’s familiarity with conducting started in France, followed by various appointments in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. In 1946, he embarked on a conducting career directing the Concerts du Conservatoire in Paris and the Bordeaux Symphony. The successful debut with the LPO led to his appointment as associate conductor of the orchestra in 1947. From 1947-1950 Martinon directed the Radio Eireann orchestra, Dublin and in 1951, he returned to Paris to conduct the Concerts Lamoureux until 1957. From 1957-1959, Martinon conducted the Israel Philharmonic. His appointment as the next conductor of the Düsseldorf Symphony occurred in 1959. Martinon was in Düsseldorf until 1963 when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra selected him as their music director, a position he held until 1968. During that same year, he returned to France to direct the French National Radio Orchestra and served as the principal conductor of the Hague Residentie–Orkest from 1974 until shortly before his death in 1976.

Martinon’s extensive experience as a composer led to his approach to conducting. The Symphoniette pour orchestre á cordes, piano, harpe et timbales, op. 16, from 1935, is one of three first attempts at composition. After enlisting in the war, Martinon’s imprisonment in a German camp, Stalag IX A, resulted in several new compositions, Psaume 136, le Chant des Captifs, Musique d’Exil, Sonatina No.3, Sonatina No. 4 for wind instruments, and various choral works. In 1946, the city of Paris awarded a prize to his composition le Chant des Captifs. After the war, other notable compositions include Symphonie no. 3 (Irlandaise), the Concerto no. 2 pour violin et orchestre, op. 5, dedicated to Szeryng, and the Concerto pour cello et orchestre, op. 52, composed for Pierre Fournier. For the stage Martinon composed two works, the ballet Ambohimanga ou la Cité Bleue and in 1949 the opera Hécube with a libretto by Serge Moreux. Symphony no.4 Altitudes was the outcome of a commission from the Chicago Symphony to commemorate its 75th anniversary.

Martinon had recently taken on a position at the Paris Conservatory to teach conducting when he died from a serious illness on March 1, 1976.

From the guide to the Jean Martinon papers, 1923-1994, (Music Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Lees, Benjamin, 1924-2010. Introduction and allegro (for orchestra) / by Benjamin Lees. Library of Congress
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Library of Congress. Music Division
referencedIn Fromm Music Foundation scores and recordings, 1943-2011. Houghton Library
creatorOf Lees, Benjamin, 1924-2010. Correspondence with Eugene Ormandy, 1977-1980. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Lees, Benjamin, 1924-2010. Etudes for piano and orchestra / by Benjamin Lees. The Juilliard School, Lila Acheson Wallace Library
creatorOf Jean Martinon papers, 1923-1994 Music Library
referencedIn Koussevitzky, Serge, 1874-1951. Serge Koussevitzky Archive, 1920-1976 (bulk: 1924-1951) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Bloch, Joseph, 1917-2009. Joseph Bloch Music Collection, 1942-1971. The Juilliard School, Lila Acheson Wallace Library
referencedIn National Orchestral Association collection of rehearsal and concert recordings [sound recording], 1938-1968 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf United States Information Agency. Artistic Ambassador Program. USIA Artistic Ambassador Program musical commissions, 1973-1988 (bulk 1983-1987). Library of Congress
creatorOf Lees, Benjamin, 1924-2010. Piano concerto no. 2 / by Benjamin Lees. Indiana University
creatorOf Philadelphia Orchestra. Transcription of WFLN radio broadcast [sound recording], 1970 October 2, 3; November 9. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Lees, Benjamin, 1924-2010. Symphony no. 3 / by Benjamin Lees. Indiana University
creatorOf Lees, Benjamin, 1924-2010. Sonata for violin and piano no. 1 / Benjamin Lees. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn USIA Artistic Ambassador Program Musical Commissions, 1973-1988, (bulk 1983-1987) Library of Congress. Music Division
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Baltimore Symphony Orchestra corporateBody
associatedWith Barraud, Henry, 1900-1997 person
associatedWith Baudo, Serge, 1927- person
associatedWith Berliner Philharmoniker corporateBody
associatedWith Bloch, Joseph, 1917-2009. person
associatedWith Böhm, Karl, 1894-1981 person
associatedWith Borsari, Amédée, 1905-1999 person
associatedWith Boston Symphony Orchestra corporateBody
associatedWith Brisson, Pierre, 1896-1964 person
associatedWith Canarina, John, 1934- person
associatedWith Casadesus, Francis, 1870-1954 person
associatedWith Charles, Edouard person
associatedWith Chicago Symphony Orchestra corporateBody
associatedWith Chouraqui, André, 1917-2007 person
associatedWith Comissiona, Sergiu person
associatedWith Cziffra, Georges, 1921-1994 person
associatedWith Drake University. College of Arts and Sciences corporateBody
associatedWith Düsseldorfer Symphoniker corporateBody
associatedWith Dutilleux, Henri, 1916-2013 person
associatedWith Ferras, Christian, 1933-1982 person
associatedWith Fournet, Jean person
associatedWith Fournier, Jean, 1911-2003 person
associatedWith Fournier, Pierre, 1906-1986 person
associatedWith Francescatti, Zino, 1902-1991 person
correspondedWith Fromm Music Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Gavoty, Bernard person
associatedWith Gingold, Josef person
associatedWith Haitink, Bernard, 1929- person
associatedWith Hamon, Jean person
associatedWith Hasselmann, Roland person
associatedWith Henze, Hans Werner, 1926-2012 person
associatedWith Hétu, Pierre, 1936-1998 person
associatedWith Indiana University. School of Music corporateBody
associatedWith Inghelbrecht, D. E. (Désiré Emile), 1880-1965 person
associatedWith Jean Martinon Society corporateBody
associatedWith Jolivet, André, 1905-1974 person
associatedWith Karajan, Herbert von person
correspondedWith Koussevitzky, Serge, 1874-1951 person
associatedWith Kubelík, Rafael, 1914-1996 person
associatedWith Landowski, Marcel, 1915-1999 person
associatedWith Leinsdorf, Erich, 1912-1993 person
associatedWith Le Roux, Maurice person
associatedWith Lescuyer, Christian person
associatedWith Loewenguth, Alfred person
associatedWith Lumbroso, Nelly, b. 1877 person
associatedWith Malraux, André, 1901-1976 person
associatedWith Martinon, Jean, 1910-1976 person
associatedWith Menuhin, Yehudi, 1916-1999 person
associatedWith Messiaen, Olivier, 1908-1992 person
associatedWith Mihalovici, Marcel, 1898-1985 person
associatedWith Moreux, Serge, 1900-1959 person
associatedWith Munch, Charles, 1891-1968 person
associatedWith National Orchestral Association (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Norddeutscher Rundfunk corporateBody
associatedWith Nussy Saint-Saëns, Marcel person
associatedWith Ohana, Maurice, 1913-1992 person
associatedWith Orchestre des concerts Lamoureux corporateBody
associatedWith Otterloo, Willem van person
associatedWith Peck, Donald person
associatedWith Philadelphia Orchestra. corporateBody
associatedWith Proffit, André person
associatedWith Radiodiffusion française. Orchestre national corporateBody
associatedWith Reiner, Fritz, 1888-1963 person
associatedWith Remoortel, Edouard van, 1926-1977 person
associatedWith Rosenthal, Manuel, 1904-2003 person
associatedWith Roussel, Albert, 1869-1937 person
associatedWith Rózsa, Miklós, 1907-1995 person
associatedWith Ruchpaul, Eva, 1928- person
associatedWith Schmidt-Isserstedt, Hans, 1900-1973 person
associatedWith Schoenberg, Gertrud person
associatedWith Serkin, Rudolf, 1903-1991 person
correspondedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Solti, Georg, 1912-1997 person
associatedWith Starker, Janos person
associatedWith Stern, Isaac, 1920-2001 person
associatedWith St. Louis Symphony Orchestra corporateBody
associatedWith Stravinsky, Igor, 1882-1971 person
associatedWith Szeryng, Henryk person
associatedWith United States Information Agency. Artistic Ambassador Program. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Concertos (Piano)
Izler Solomon Collection
Music
Orchestral music
Piano with orchestra
Sonatas (Violin and piano)
Symphonies
Occupation
Collector
Activity

Person

Birth 1924-01-08

Death 2010-05-31

Americans

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