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Erich Kunzel

Composers

Biography

Born: March 21, 1935   Died: September 1, 2009   Country: USA  
Erich Kunzel was dubbed the "Prince of Pops" by the Chicago Tribune in 1977 and became one of the most successful Billboard Classical/Crossover recording artists in history. He was born in New York and raised in Connecticut. He attended Dartmouth College, where he decided on music as a career. He earned degrees at Dartmouth, Harvard, and Brown and went to Hancock, Maine, to study conducting with Pierre Monteux.

His professional conducting
Read more career began with the Santa Fe Opera in 1957. He also became a personal assistant to Pierre Monteux. Kunzel attracted the attention of another renowned teacher of conductors, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's music director Max Rudolf, who invited Kunzel to become a resident conductor with the orchestra. One of the duties of that position was to lead concerts in the "Eight O'Clock Pops" series. He debuted with the Cincinnati Symphony in October, 1965, leading one of the pops concerts and showed an immediate affinity for this kind of presentation. Kunzel had not considered this area of music as his career objective, but quickly decided he liked it. Arthur Fiedler, noting Kunzel's work, invited him to guest conduct his Boston Pops Orchestra in 1970. He was invited back to the Boston Pops every year under Fiedler and his two successors John Williams and Keith Lockhart, and made over 85 appearances with the original Boston Pops orchestra and taken it on tour.

Kunzel made recordings with labels associated with the Vox record company while making the "Eight O'Clock Pops" even more of a favorite in Cincinnati. In 1977, the board of the orchestra decided to follow the organizational example of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and constitute a Cincinnati Pops Orchestra as a separate sub-organization using members of the main orchestra, and appointed Kunzel its conductor. Five years later he was also appointed pops conductor of the symphony orchestra in nearby Indianapolis in 1982. He went on to conduct over 200 pops concerts there and many more in Detroit, Toronto, Minnesota, and Naples, Florida. He held the records for attendance at Chicago's Ravinia Festival and Cleveland's Blossom Music Festival -- over 22,000 in each venue.

In the 1980s, Telarc records, began recording in Cincinnati and included the Pops in its program. Beginning with the legendary Straussfest recording, they produced an unprecedented series of audio spectaculars including classical repertory, Broadway, popular song albums, and movie score compilations. Kunzel recorded 100 releases, including 70 on Telarc. Fifty of them have been on the Billboard charts. He has been the Billboard Top Classical/Crossover Artist of the year several times, including an unprecedented four years in a row. He was won the Grand Prix du Disque in Europe, the Award for Classical Album of the Year 1989 from the Japan Record Association, Sony's Tiffany Walkman Award, and four Grammy nominations.

He often appeared on television, most prominently in Fourth of July and Memorial Day concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C., playing on the Mall in an annual PBS television broadcast. He has played in the Fourth of July series annually since 1990. The 1996 appearance was the largest PBS audience ever for a musical event and drew nearly a million people to hear the concert live.

Kunzel has taught on the faculties of Brown University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He conducted opera performances with the Cincinnati Opera and the Canadian Opera Company. He received numerous awards and recognition, including the 1994 Presidential Medal for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement from Dartmouth and the 1995 Salvation Army "Others" Award.

Immediately upon his death from cancer in 2009, Kunzel was named Founder and Conductor Emeritus by a unanimus vote of the Cincinnati Symphony's board. Read less
Christmastime Is Here / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
Release Date: 09/26/2006   Label: Telarc  
Catalog: 80538  
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Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker (Highlights) / Kunzel, Et Al
Release Date: 09/25/2007   Label: Telarc  
Catalog: 80674   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 113 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Ravel: Bolero
    Label: Lim   Catalog: 63 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Forrest,  Georges Bizet,  Maurice Ravel,  Isaac Albeniz
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    On sale! $43.98
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  • 2.
    Label: Lim   Catalog: 69 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Miklós Rózsa,  John T. Williams,  Recorded Sound,  Michael Kamen  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Piller,  Timothy Berens,  Heather MacPhail,  John Birge  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
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  • 3.
    Ein Straussfest
    Label: Lim   Catalog: 64 Release Date: 01/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Eduard Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    On sale! $42.98
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  • 4.
    The Super Telarc Sound 1
    Label: Lim   Catalog: 60 Release Date: 01/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georges Bizet,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Silverstein,  Liza Minnelli,  Ray Brown,  Joe Pass  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Seiji Ozawa,  Leonard Slatkin,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    On sale! $42.98
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  • 5.
    Music For Food Lovers: Gourmet Classics
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1266 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Johann Friedrich Fasch,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Manlio Rocchi,  Konrad Ragossnig,  Hans Gösser,  Peter Schmalfuss  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Alberico Vitalini,  Paul Angerer,  Henry Adolph  ... 
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  • 6.
    Label: Telarc Gold   Catalog: 80116 Release Date: 06/19/2012  
    Composer:  Daniel-François Auber,  Louis Ferdinand Herold,  Jacques Offenbach,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    On sale! $48.98
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  • 7.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812; Capriccio Italien; Cossack Dance
    Label: Lasting Impression Music   Catalog: 52 Release Date: 04/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
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  • 8.
    Music For Ballet Lovers
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1256 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Manuel de Falla,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Don Jackson,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Edouard Van Remoortel,  Jansug Kakhidze  ... 
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  • 9.
    Sousa: Marches, Polkas & Americana
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1108 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Julius Fucik,  Morton Gould,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 10.
    Offenbach Favourites / Kunzel,  Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1073 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach
    Performer:  Philip Collins
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 11.
    Lehar: Merry Widow / Kenny, Skovhus, Kirchschlager [Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7055 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár
    Performer:  Carlo Hartmann,  Boje Skovhus,  Yvonne Kenny,  Gregory Turay  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  San Francisco Opera Chorus
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  • 12.
    Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations; Saint-saens: Cello Concerto No. 1; Offenbach: Cello Concerto
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 6607 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ofra Harnoy
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Paul Freeman
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 13.
    From The Top At The Pops / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80745 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Steven Feigenbaum,  Russell Peck,  David Popper,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Matthew Allen
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 14.
    Classical Prep School - Essential Music
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80749 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  John O'Conor,  James Van Demark,  Rudolf Serkin,  Michael Chertock  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Bishop,  Yoel Levi,  Erich Kunzel,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 15.
    The Dance / Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5130 Release Date: 07/14/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Léo Delibes,  Georges Bizet,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Wallen,  Philip Collins
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 16.
    Vintage Cinema - Music From King Kong, Robin Hood, Spellbound, Sunset Boulevard, Etc / Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 60708 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Franz Waxman,  Elmer Bernstein,  Miklós Rózsa  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 17.
    Vintage Cinema / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80708 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elmer Bernstein,  Miklós Rózsa,  Bernard Herrmann,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 18.
    Beautiful Wedding - Prelude - Mozart, Handel, Pachelbel, Etc
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80716 Release Date: 05/20/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Johann Christoph Pezel,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Yolanda Kondonassis,  Robert McDuffie,  William Tritt,  Allan Vogel
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin,  Erich Kunzel,  Martin Pearlman,  Keith Clark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  Empire Brass,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 19.
    Beautiful Wedding: Classical Music For The Wedding Dinner
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80718 Release Date: 05/20/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ottorino Respighi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Peabo Bryson,  Paquito D'Rivera,  Michael Camilo,  Kenny Blake  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Martin Pearlman,  Keith Clark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Chamber Orchestra,  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Baroque  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 20.
    Ravel: Boléro;  Borodin, Bizet / Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80703 Release Date: 04/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Forrest,  Isaac Albeniz,  Georges Bizet,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $16.99
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  • 21.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker (Highlights) / Kunzel, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80674 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Julie Spangler
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Greater Cincinnati Children's Choir
    Recommendation
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  • 22.
    Masters And Commanders - Music From Seafaring Film Classics
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80682 Release Date: 07/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  John Debney,  Morton Gould,  Franz Waxman  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Lees
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 23.
    Russian Nights / Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80657 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Hawley,  Timothy Lees
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 24.
    The Never Ending Waltz / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80668 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léo Delibes,  Léon Fyodorovich Minkus  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $16.99
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  • 25.
    Christmastime Is Here / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80538 Release Date: 09/26/2006  
    Composer:  Meredith Willson,  Kim Gannon,  Joseph Carleton Beal,  Various  ... 
    Performer:  Tierney Sutton,  Tony Desare,  Ann Hampton Callaway,  John Pizzarelli
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  School for Creative and Performing Arts Chorale,  King's Singers  ... 
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