Sir Adrian Boult

Composers

Biography

Born: 1889   Died: 1983   Country: England  
Neither as colorful a public figure as fellow Briton Thomas Beecham, nor as stormy and commanding on the podium as some of his better-known international contemporaries, Adrian Boult nevertheless was one of Britain's foremost conductors for nearly 70 years. He championed contemporary music, introducing Holst's The Planets and Berg's Wozzeck to the British public, but his pioneering work with the BBC Orchestra, which he created and directed for 20 Read more years, is often regarded as his signature achievement.
Born to a wealthy shipowner, Boult spent his grammar school days in London at Westminster School and took to music early. At Christ Church, Oxford, Boult flourished under the guidance of conductor Hugh Allen. In addition, Boult worked with Artur Nikisch during a stay at the Leipzig Conservatory (1912-1913). Boult also studied with composer Max Reger, but a serious illness that kept him out of World War I cut his continental sojourn short.
Boult made his debut at Queen's Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra in 1918. From that first concert Boult demonstrated support for British music, including Vaughn Williams' then virtually unknown "London" Symphony on the program. The concert led to an invitation from Holst to conduct the premiere of The Planets at a private concert at Queen's Hall. In 1919 Boult joined faculty of the Royal College of Music.
In the years following World War I, Boult conducted both orchestral music and opera. He served as principal conductor for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes during their London stay in 1919, and in 1926 rejoined the staff at Covent Garden. In 1924 Boult accepted the directorship of the recently formed City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which he molded into a first-rank ensemble.
In 1930 Boult received an invitation to organize and direct the newly formed BBC Symphony Orchestra. Boult took the group on numerous international tours and began its long, distinguished recording career. During the Second World War Boult and the orchestra took up residence in Bristol, but German raids drove them to Bedford. In 1950 Boult passed the BBC baton to Malcolm Sargent and assumed directorship of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which he took on a politically significant tour of the USSR in 1956. Following his retirement from the LPO in 1957, Boult rejoined the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for one year, and returned to the Royal College to teach a new generation of conductors from 1962 to 1966. He ceased conducting altogether in 1979, after several years of occasional appearances. According to most accounts, Boult's conducting was unimpaired even at the ripe age of 90. He died in 1983, just two weeks shy of his 94th birthday.
Boult felt that it was the conductor's duty to present as much music as possible to the listening public without regard for the conductor's own personal tastes, leaving it to posterity to preserve particular pieces. Describing himself as a musical "purist," Boult believed that everything necessary for a successful performance was to be found within the printed score. Although some critics complained that Boult's musical persona lacked the colorful quality of true greatness, his gentlemanly conduct on the podium earned him respect from his musicians that hours of tirades might not have. On his "off nights," Boult's music-making perhaps came across as dull or workmanlike, but often his clarity of approach and fidelity to the score produced electrifying results.
Boult's autobiography, My Own Trumpet, was published in 1973. He was knighted in 1937, and made a Companion of Honour in 1969. Hundreds of his recordings have enjoyed a long (and profitable) life on LP and compact disc, most notably his various accounts of the symphonies of Vaughan Williams and Elgar, and Holst's Planets, but far beyond the boundaries of English music, his recordings of Wagner's and Brahms' orchestral music have found critical favor. Additionally, various archival releases, most notably two from Testament Records, have solidified Boult's reputation as a trailblazer-- the most notable of these, issued by Testament Records in 2008, contains his 1947 BBC Symphony Orchestra performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Kathleern Ferrier, the first performance of the piece ever given in England. Read less
Handel: Messiah / Boult, Sutherland, Bumbry, Mckellar, Ward
Release Date: 10/22/2007   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 433003   Number of Discs: 3
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Handel: Messiah / Sutherland, Bumbry, Mckellar, Ward, Boult
Release Date: 11/16/2010   Label: Newton Classics  
Catalog: 8802032   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 1-25 of 215 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Elgar: Dream of Gerontius / Boult, Baker, Pears, Shirley-Quirk, London Philharmonic [DVD]
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5140 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Peter Pears,  John Shirley-Quirk
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir
    DVD: $37.49
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  • 2.
    British Symphonies
    Label: Lyrita Recorded Edition - Nimb   Catalog: 2355 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  William Sterndale Bennett,  Cyril Rootham,  Ernest John Moeran,  Arnold Bax  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicolas Braithwaite,  Vernon Handley,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Myer Fredman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 3.
    Decca Sound: 55 Great Vocal Recitals
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002495002 Release Date: 05/20/2016   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Gustave Charpentier,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Suzanne Danco,  Pierre Mollet,  Guido Agosti,  Gervase de Peyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Erede,  Ernest Ansermet,  Karl Böhm,  Rudolf Moralt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $134.49
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  • 4.
    The Menuhin Century: Luxury Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555050 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 91
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $239.98
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  • 5.
    The Menuhin Century: The Historic Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555052 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonín Dvorák,  Niccolň Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Gerald Moore,  George Enescu,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Enescu,  Pierre Monteux,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire  ... 
    CD: $58.49
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  • 6.
    The Menuhin Century: Unpublished Recordings & Rarities
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555051 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 7.
    Yehudi: The Art of Menuhin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 554924 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giovanni Battista Viotti,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Paul Cocker,  Hephzibah Menuhin,  Louis Kentner  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lysy,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Efrem Kurtz,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bath Festival Orchestra,  Robert Masters Chamber Orchestra,  Camerata Lysy  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 8.
    Mozart & Bartok: Piano Concertos / Fischer
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250326 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Annie Fischer
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $23.99
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  • 9.
    100 Best Film Classics [warner Classics]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553645 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Richard Strauss,  John T. Williams,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Ernest Blanc,  Nicolai Gedda,  Gary Hoffman,  Gérard Caussé  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Rudolf Kempe,  Geoff Love,  Mariss Jansons  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Jean-Marie Leclair,  The Hungarian Quartet,  Il Giardino Armonico  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Sibelius: Histoical Recordings and Rarities 1928-48
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552772 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Helmi [Soprano Vocal] Liukkonen,  Jascha Heifetz,  Gerald Moore,  Emil Telmányi  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Kajanus,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Jean Sibelius,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
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  • 11.
    A Romantic Portrait: Dvora, Schumann, Tchaikovsky
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350112 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    SuperAudio CD: $24.99
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  • 12.
    E. Power Biggs plays Handel: The 16 Concertos and More
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875051822 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  E. Power Biggs
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir Charles Groves
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Decca Sound  – Mono Years 1944 -1956
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002280602 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Clifford Curzon,  Alfredo Campoli,  Henry Datyner  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Roger Desormičre,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 14.
    Great Symphonies
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5132 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  David Wilson-Johnson
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Guido Cantelli,  Ataulfo Argenta  ... 
    CD: $44.49
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  • 15.
    British Piano Concertos
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 2345 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Malcolm Williamson,  Alun Hoddinott,  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Gerald Finzi  ... 
    Performer:  Malcolm Williamson,  Philip Fowke,  Malcolm Binns,  Peter Katin  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Dommett,  Barry Wordsworth,  Nicholas Braithwaite,  Vernon Handley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    British String Concertos
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 2346 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Samuel Coleridge-Taylor,  Gustav Holst,  Gerald Finzi,  William Busch  ... 
    Performer:  Lorraine McAslan,  Emanuel Hurwitz,  Kenneth Sillito,  Cecil Aronowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas Braithwaite,  Imogen Holst,  David Atherton,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 17.
    The Complete London Studio Recordings / Annie Fischer [8-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634123 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Annie Fischer
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Efrem Kurtz,  Otto Klemperer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $39.99
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  • 18.
    Sir Adrian Boult - The Complete Conductor
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 1927023 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gustav Holst,  Robert Simpson,  Sir Arthur Bliss  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $38.98
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  • 19.
    The Westminster Legacy
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999302 Release Date: 02/18/2014   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Sena Jurinac,  Lucretia West,  Hans Loeffler,  Frederick Guthrie  ... 
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Pierre Monteux,  René Leibowitz,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Chamber Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $119.98
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  • 20.
    Great Pianists - Legendary Recordings from Arrau, Cherkassky, Cziffra, Gilels, Katchen
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5114 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Claudio Arrau,  Julius Katchen,  György Cziffra  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Otto Klemperer,  Rudolf Kempe  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 21.
    Elgar: Symphony No 2; Wagner: Tannhauser Overture & Venusburg Music / Boult
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5106 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Elgar: Complete EMI Recordings / Sir Adrian Boult
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 35922 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Pablo Casals,  Paul Tortelier,  Ida Haendel  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir Philip Ledger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    Dame Janet Baker - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 37712 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Claudio Monteverdi,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Henry Lawes  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Kenneth Heath,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard,  Sir John Barbirolli,  André Previn,  Sir Alexander Gibson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $99.95
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  • 24.
    Elgar: Pomp & Circumstance Marches 1-5; Dream Children; The Wand Of Youth; Nursery Suite
    Label: Heritage   Catalog: 250 Release Date: 03/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
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  • 25.
    Vaughan Williams: Complete EMI Recordings / Boult
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 35672 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Sheila Armstrong,  John Carol Case,  Norma Burrowes,  Hugh Bean  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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