Stock, Frederick (actually, Friedrich August)

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Stock, Frederick (actually, Friedrich August)

Stock, Frederick (actually, Friedrich August), respected German-born American conductor; b. Jülich, Nov. 11, 1872; d. Chicago, Oct. 20, 1942. He was first trained in music by his father, a bandmaster; then studied violin with G. Japha and composition with Wüllner, Zöllner, and Humperdinck at the Cologne Cons. (1886–91). From 1891 to 1895 he was a violinist in the Cologne municipal orch. In 1895 he was engaged as a violist in Theodore Thomas’s newly organized Chicago Orch., becoming his asst. conductor in 1901; following Thomas’s death in 1905, he inherited the orch., which took the name of the Theodore Thomas Orch. in 1906; it became the Chicago Sym. Orch. in 1912, with Stock serving as its conductor until his death, the 1918–19 season excepted. In 1919 he became a naturalized U.S. citizen. As a conductor, Stock was extremely competent, even though he totally lacked that ineffable quality of making orch. music a vivid experience in sound; but he had the merit of giving adequate performances of the classics, of Wagner, and of the German Romantic school. He also programmed several American works, as long as they followed the Germanic tradition. The flowering of the Chicago Sym. Orch. was to be accomplished by his successors Reiner and Solti. Stock was also a composer; wrote 2 syms., a Violin Concerto (Norfolk Festival, June 3, 1915, E. Zimbalist soloist, composer conducting), and some chamber music.


P. Otis, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Chicago, 1925); W. Holmes, “F. S.,” Le Grand Baton, VI/2 (1969).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire