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
Browse 51-75 of 115 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Symphonic Spectacular / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80170 Release Date: 04/23/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  George Enescu,  Johan Halvorsen,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 52.
    The Best Of Bach
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80591 Release Date: 11/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Patricia Maybe,  Michael Murray,  Vincent Charbonnier,  Jacques Loussier  ... 
    Conductor:  Keith Clark,  Martin Pearlman,  Robert Shaw,  Jahja Ling  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Concerts du Monde,  Jacques Loussier Trio,  Boston Baroque  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 53.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Et Al / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 70541 Release Date: 09/04/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Greater Cincinnati Children's Choir,  Kiev Symphony Chorus
    DVD Audio: $24.99
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  • 54.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Et Al / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80541 Release Date: 05/22/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Kiev Symphony Chorus,  Greater Cincinnati Children's Choir
    CD: $16.99
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  • 55.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Marche Slave, Etc /Kunzel, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 60541 Release Date: 05/22/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Kiev Symphony Chorus,  Greater Cincinnati Children's Choir
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  • 56.
    The Best Of Gershwin - Rhapsody In Blue, I Got Rhythm, Etc
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80542 Release Date: 01/23/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  John O'Conor,  William Tritt,  Harolyn Blackwell
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $12.99
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  • 57.
    Viennafest - The Music Of Lehar, Lanner, Etc / Kunzel, Etc
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80547 Release Date: 10/24/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmerich Kálmán,  Franz Lehár,  Rudolf Sieczynski,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Tracy Dahl
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 58.
    The Best Of Tchaikovsky / Mackerras, Zinman, Slatkin, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80539 Release Date: 06/27/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Horacio Gutierrez
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Erich Kunzel,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $10.99
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  • 59.
    Shakespeare's Music
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80551 Release Date: 07/27/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Warbeck,  Patrick Doyle,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Yoel Levi,  David Zinman,  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  May Festival Chorus,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 60.
    Label: Vox   Catalog: 3902 Release Date: 06/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Antonín Dvorák,  Gabriel Fauré,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio,  Paul Angerer,  Southwest German Chamber Orchestra,  Beatriz Klien  ... 
    Conductor:  Frank Shipway,  Jörg Faerber,  Hans Hagen,  Louis de Froment  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio,  Southwest German Chamber Orchestra (Pforzheim),  Rochester Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 61.
    Figure Skating's Greatest Hits
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80504 Release Date: 01/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Igor Stravinsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  John O'Conor,  Joseph Silverstein
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Robert Shaw,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Yoel Levi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 62.
    American Adagios
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80503 Release Date: 08/05/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  George Gershwin,  Aaron Copland,  Christopher Rouse  ... 
    Performer:  Arietha Lockhart,  Robert McDuffie,  Carol Wincenc,  Paul Edmund-Davies
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Erich Kunzel,  Yoel Levi,  Christoph Eschenbach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Festival Singers,  Cincinnati Pops,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 63.
    Gershwin: Complete Orchestral Collection / Erich Kunzel
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80445 Release Date: 05/26/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  William Tritt,  Tim Berens,  Stewart Goodyear
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Central State University Chorus
    CD: $25.99
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  • 64.
    Gershwin: Porgy And Bess (Selections), Blue Monday / Kunzel
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80434 Release Date: 05/26/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Kirk Walker,  Marquita Lister,  Thomas Young,  Gregg Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central State University Chorus,  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $16.99
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  • 65.
    The Complete Wedding Album - There Is Love
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80490 Release Date: 04/28/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Richard Wagner,  Samuel Barber,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Angel Romero,  Joseph Silverstein,  Larry Cooperman,  Michael Chertock  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Erich Kunzel,  Leonard Slatkin,  Keith Clark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Chorus,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 66.
    Play Ball! / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80468 Release Date: 03/24/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Adler,  James Horner,  Steven Reineke,  Bill Conti  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Muldaur,  Tom Wopat,  Jerry Kimbrough,  Tim Berens  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Ohio State University Choir,  School for Creative and Performing Arts Chorale  ... 
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  • 67.
    Rodrigo: Concierto De Aranjuez / Russell, Kunzel
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80459 Release Date: 10/28/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo
    Performer:  David Russell
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Naples Philharmonic Florida
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  • 68.
    25 Classical Dance Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8841 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Maurice Ravel,  Charles Gounod,  Heitor Villa-Lobos  ... 
    Performer:  Manuel Barrueco
    Conductor:  Carl Michalski,  Peter Falk,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Alfred Scholz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  Minnesota Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $4.99
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  • 69.
    25 Concerto Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8842 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Aaron Rosand,  Abbey Simon,  Jean-Jacques Kantorow  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Louis de Froment,  Leonard Slatkin,  Bernard Thomas  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Luxembourg Radio/Television Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $4.99
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  • 70.
    25 Opera Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8838 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  John Oakman,  Elvira Cirje-Druica,  Eugenia Moldoveanu,  Ludovic Spiess  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Bigg,  Mircea Popa,  Constantin Petrovici,  Rudolph Palmer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Symphony Orchestra,  Romanian Opera Chorus of Bucharest,  Romanian Opera Orchestra of Bucharest  ... 
    CD: $4.99
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  • 71.
    Copland - The Music Of America / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80339 Release Date: 01/28/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland
    Performer:  Philip Collins,  William Harrod
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $16.99
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  • 72.
    Thunderous Classics - The Ultimate In Bombastic Music
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8828 Release Date: 10/22/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Holst,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Michalski,  Marko Munih,  Walter Susskind,  Othmar M. F. Mága  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  Ljubljana Radio Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $4.99
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  • 73.
    Viennese Violin / McDuffie, Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80402 Release Date: 08/27/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Rudolf Sieczynski,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz Lehár
    Performer:  Robert McDuffie
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 74.
    Symphonic Star Trek / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80383 Release Date: 04/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jerry Goldsmith,  Alexander Courage,  James Horner
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $17.99
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  • 75.
    25 Romantic Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8806 Release Date: 01/30/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Jack Wellbaum,  Dubravka Tomsic,  Ernst Mühlbacher,  Frank Morelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Carl Michalski,  Anton Nanut,  Franz Bauer-Theussl  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $4.99
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