Leopold Stokowski

Leopold Stokowski

Born Apr 18, 1882

Leopold Anthony Stokowski was a British orchestral conductor, well known for his free-hand performing style that spurned the traditional baton and for obtaining a characteristically sumptuous sound from many of the great orchestras he conducted. In America, Stokowski performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony of the Air and many others.… Read More

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1882 Birth However, Stokowski's birth certificate (signed by J. Claxton, the registrar at the General Office, Somerset House, London, in the parish of All Souls, County of Middlesex) gives his birth on 18 April 1882, at 13 Upper Marylebone Street (now New Cavendish Street), in the Marylebone District of London. … Read More
1887 5 Years Old …  On occasion, Stokowski gave his year of birth as 1887 instead of 1882, as in a letter to the Hugo Riemann Musiklexicon in 1950, which also incorrectly gave his birthplace as Kraków, Poland. … Read More


1900 18 Years Old In 1900, Stokowski formed the choir of St. Mary's Church, Charing Cross Road, where he trained the choirboys and played the organ.


1902 - 1905 3 More Events
1908 26 Years Old In 1908, Stokowski began a campaign to win this position, writing letters to Mrs. Christian R. Holmes, the orchestra's president, and traveling all the way to Cincinnati, Ohio, for a personal interview.
Stokowski was selected over the other applicants, and took up his conducting duties in late 1909.
1911 29 Years Old 1 More Event
He conducted the American premieres of new works by such composers as Elgar, whose 2nd Symphony was first presented there on November 24, 1911. … Read More


However, in early 1912, Stokowski became frustrated with the politics of the orchestra's Board of Directors, and submitted his resignation. … Read More
1916 34 Years Old …  In 1916, Stokowski conducted the American premiere of Mahler's 8th Symphony, Symphony of a Thousand. … Read More


1922 40 Years Old In 1922, he introduced Stravinsky's score for the ballet The Rite of Spring to America, gave its first staged performance there in 1930 with Martha Graham dancing the part of The Chosen One, and at the same time made the first American recording of the work. … Read More
1926 44 Years Old His second wife was Johnson & Johnson heiress Evangeline Love Brewster Johnson (1897-1990), an artist and aviatrix, to whom he was married from 1926 until 1937 (two daughters: Gloria Luba Stokowski and Andrea Sadja Stokowski). … Read More


1933 51 Years Old In 1933, he started "Youth Concerts" for younger audiences, which are still a tradition in Philadelphia and many other American cities, and fostered youth music programs.
1936 54 Years Old 1 More Event
After disputes with the board, Stokowski began to withdraw from involvement in the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1936 onwards, allowing his co-conductor Eugene Ormandy to gradually take over.
1937 - 1939 2 More Events
1940 58 Years Old With his Philadelphia Orchestra contract having expired in 1940, Stokowski immediately formed the All-American Youth Orchestra, its players' ages ranging from 18 to 25. … Read More
1941 59 Years Old 1 More Event
The NBC's regular conductor, Arturo Toscanini, did not wish to undertake the 1941-42 NBC season because of friction with NBC management, though he did accept guest engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra. … Read More


1944 62 Years Old In 1944, on the recommendation of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, Stokowski helped form the New York City Symphony Orchestra, which they intended would make music accessible for middle-class workers. … Read More
Many early concerts were standing room only; however, a year later in 1945, Stokowski was at odds with the board (who wanted to trim expenses even further) and he resigned. … Read More
1946 64 Years Old He continued to appear frequently with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, both at the Hollywood Bowl and other venues. Then in 1946 Stokowski became a chief Guest Conductor of the New York Philharmonic.
1949 67 Years Old 1 More Event
His many "first performances" with them included the U.S. Premiere of Prokofiev's 6th Symphony in 1949.
1950 - 1965 6 More Events
1972 90 Years Old Stokowski served as Music Director for the ASO until May 1972 when, at the age of 90, he returned to live in England. … Read More
1973 91 Years Old 1 More Event
Stokowski gave his last world premiere in 1973 when, at the age of 91, he conducted Havergal Brian's 28th Symphony in a BBC radio broadcast with the New Philharmonia Orchestra.
1976 94 Years Old In 1976, he signed a recording contract with CBS Records that would have kept him active until he was 100 years old.
1977 95 Years Old Stokowski died of a heart attack in 1977 in Nether Wallop, Hampshire, at the age of 95. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_Stokowski.
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