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 76-100 of 114 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Verdi Without Words / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80364 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 77.
    American As Apple Pie / Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 3035 Release Date: 01/17/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  John Stafford Smith,  Victor Herbert,  Jerome Kern,  Richard Hayman  ... 
    Performer:  Tony Chipurn,  Johnny Bench,  Marie Speziale,  Frank Proto
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 78.
    Vive La France - Jacques Offenbach / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5131 Release Date: 01/17/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach
    Performer:  Philip Collins,  Ofra Harnoy
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 79.
    Top 20 - The Very Best Of Erich Kunzel & The Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80401 Release Date: 09/27/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Brad Fiedel,  Traditional,  Eduard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Muckenfuss,  Paul Patterson,  Jeanne Dulaney,  Tim Berens  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Central State University Chorus
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  • 80.
    The Great Fantasy Adventure Album / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80342 Release Date: 04/26/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Miklós Rózsa,  John T. Williams,  Michael Kamen,  Patrick Doyle  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 81.
    Lerner & Loewe: Songbook For Orchestra / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80375 Release Date: 01/25/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frederick Loewe
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 82.
    Amen: Gospel Celebration
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80315 Release Date: 08/24/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Albert Brumley,  Paul Simon,  Lowell Mason,  John Newton  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 83.
    Classics For All Seasons - Autumn
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80327 Release Date: 08/24/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  César Franck,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  John Korman,  Beverly Schiebler,  John Sant'Ambrogio,  Thomas Dumm  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Leonard Slatkin,  Zdenek Macal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 84.
    The Telarc Collection Vol 9
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89109 Release Date: 06/29/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Phil Moore,  Clifford Brown,  Mel London,  Stefan Schyga  ... 
    Performer:  Jeanie Bryson,  John Heard,  Ahmad Jamal,  Yoron Israel  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Martin Pearlman,  Yoel Levi,  Keith Clark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slide Hampton/Jazz Masters,  Azuza Pacific University Choir,  Central State University Chorus  ... 
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  • 85.
    Classics For All Seasons - Summer
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80324 Release Date: 05/25/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Ernesto Lecuona  ... 
    Performer:  Yolanda Kondonassis,  Henryk Tritt
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Leonard Slatkin,  Erich Kunzel,  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
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  • 86.
    Ein Straussfest II / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80314 Release Date: 03/23/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduard Strauss,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Cincinnati Chorale
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  • 87.
    The Telarc Collection Vol 7
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89107 Release Date: 02/23/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ben Bernie,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Paul Dukas,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  André Previn,  Ray Brown,  Mundell Lowe,  Maria Lambros  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Erich Kunzel,  Yoel Levi,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 88.
    Classics - American Piano Classics / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80112 Release Date: 01/26/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Morton Gould,  Leroy Anderson,  George Gershwin,  Euday L. Bowman  ... 
    Performer:  William Tritt,  Stewart Goodyear
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 89.
    Young At Heart / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80245 Release Date: 10/27/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johnny Richards,  Johannes Brahms,  Harold Rome,  Tatsuo Takai  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 90.
    The Telarc Collection Vol 6
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89106 Release Date: 09/29/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  P.D.Q. Bach,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Bert Kaempfert,  John Denver  ... 
    Performer:  Doc Severinsen,  Hilton Ruiz,  Dizzy Gillespie,  Clifford Jordan  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Schickele,  David Zinman,  Erich Kunzel,  Martin Pearlman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turtle Mountain Naval Base Tactical Wind Ensemble,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
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  • 91.
    The Telarc Collection Vol 3
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89103 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thelonious Monk,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Mark Fisher,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Charlie Sepulveda,  Wynton Marsalis,  Dizzy Gillespie,  Paul Katz  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Erich Kunzel,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland String Quartet,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Prague Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 92.
    Offenbach: Gaîte Parisienne, Etc;  Ibert: Divertissement
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80294 Release Date: 04/24/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Ibert,  Jacques Offenbach
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 93.
    Songbook For Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80278 Release Date: 01/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodgers
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 94.
    Movie Love Themes / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80243 Release Date: 05/10/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stanley Myers,  Maurice Jarre,  Marvin Hamlisch,  Angelo Badalamenti  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 95.
    Pops Plays Puccini / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80260 Release Date: 03/14/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  May Festival Chorus
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  • 96.
    American Jubilee / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80144 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Augustus Ward,  Irving Berlin,  John Cacavas,  William Steffe  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  May Festival Chorus
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  • 97.
    Beethoven: Wellington's Victory / Kunzel, Cincinnati SO
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80079 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
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  • 98.
    Classics - Copland: Lincoln Portrait /Kunzel, Cincinati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80117 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland
    Performer:  Katharine Hepburn,  Sherrill Milnes
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 99.
    Ein Straussfest / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80098 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Eduard Strauss,  Josef Strauss
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 100.
    Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, Etc / Kunzel, List, Cincinnati
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80058 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Eugene List
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
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