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Leopold Stokowski

Leopold Stokowski Was Born in 1882


British-born conductor Leopold Anthony Stokowski was born on this day in 1882.

Revered as one of the preeminent conductors of the early to mid-20th century, he is primarily remembered for his extensive collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Stokowski's conducting style was distinctive for its lack of a baton, favoring instead a free-hand technique, and for his ability to draw out a lush, sumptuous sound from the orchestras under his direction.

Throughout his illustrious career, Stokowski held prominent positions as music director with various prestigious orchestras, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony of the Air, among others.

He also founded several orchestras, such as the All-American Youth Orchestra, the New York City Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, and the American Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his classical pursuits, Stokowski made significant contributions to the world of cinema, conducting music for and appearing in numerous Hollywood films, most notably Disney's Fantasia.

He was also a lifelong supporter of contemporary composers, often premiering their new works during his remarkable six-decade conducting career. Despite making his conducting debut in 1909, Stokowski remained active until the end of his life, making his final public appearance in 1975. He continued recording music until June 1977, only a few months before his passing at the age of 95.



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