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Stokowski, Leopold (Anthony)

Stokowski, Leopold (Anthony) (b London, 1882; d Nether Wallop, Hants., 1977). Eng.-born conductor and organist (Amer. cit. 1915), son of Polish father and Irish mother. Org., St James's, Piccadilly, 1900, then St Bartholomew's NY, 1905–8. Returned to London and cond. orch. concerts, but settled in USA shortly afterwards. Cond. Cincinnati SO 1909–12, Philadelphia Orch. 1912–38 (mus. dir. from 1931 and last 2 years jointly with Ormandy). Made Philadelphia one of world's finest orchs. and introduced many major works to USA, e.g. Mahler's 8th Sym., Berg's Wozzeck, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, Varèse's Amériques, etc. Also championed new Amer. mus., incl. that of Ives. Cond. f.ps. of 3 Rachmaninov works, Sym. No. 3, Pf. Conc. No.4, and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Appeared in films and cond. mus. for Disney's Fantasia, 1940, in which mus. and cartoons were allied. Founder and cond. All-American Youth Orch. 1939–41; chief guest cond. NBC Orch. 1941–4; founder and cond. NY City SO 1944–5; chief guest cond. NYPO 1946–50; cond. Houston SO 1955–61, Amer. SO of NY 1962–72. NY Met début 1961; Salzburg Fest. 1951 (Vienna PO). Returned to Eng. 1972, frequently conducting LSO. Made transcrs. of Bach (for large sym. orch.). Was a master of sound and put his stamp on every orch. he cond. Opinions differed on quality of that stamp, for he took unusual liberties (which included alterations to the composer's scoring) in order to obtain effects he required, but that he was a superb cond. can scarcely be denied. He was active to the day of his death.

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Stokowski, Leopold

Leopold Stokowski (stəkŏf´skē), 1882–1977, American conductor, b. London. Stokowski studied in England and at the Paris Conservatory. He was organist and choirmaster at St. Bartholomew's Church, New York City (1905–8), and was conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony (1909–12). As conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra (1912–36) he became known for brilliant interpretation and performance; he introduced unknown contemporary works and, with his own controversial transcriptions, popularized much of Bach's music. Stokowski continued to conduct for part of each season until 1941. In 1940 he organized the All-American Youth Orchestra. He was co-conductor, with Toscanini, of the NBC Symphony Orchestra (1942–43). Stokowski was musical supervisor of Walt Disney's film Fantasia (1940), in which he also appeared. He was conductor of many renowned orchestras for brief periods. Stokowski was influential in the improvement of music-recording techniques. In 1962 he founded the American Symphony Orchestra, New York City, a forum for young performers. His first wife was the pianist and teacher Olga Samaroff.

See his Music for All of Us (1943).

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Stokowski, Leopold

Stokowski, Leopold ( Antoni Stanislaw) (1882–1977) US conductor, b. Britain. Stokowski was director (1909–12) of the Cincinnati Symphony and conductor (1912–36) of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He became known for his individual interpretations and flexibility of approach.

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