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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
Christmas With The Pops / Kunzel, Cincinnatti Pops
Release Date: 10/08/1990   Label: Telarc  
Catalog: 80226   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Label: Telarc

Browse 1-25 of 85 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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  ... 
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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  ... 
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  • 6.
    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  ... 
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  • 7.
    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
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  • 8.
    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
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    Great Film Fantasies / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80664 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Shore,  John T. Williams
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 14.
    The Big Picture
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80437 Release Date: 11/23/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elliot Goldenthal,  James Horner,  Mark Mancina,  David Arnold  ... 
    Performer:  Bill Duncan,  Eric Rigler,  Timothy Berens,  Erich Kunzel
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Company Singers
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  • 15.
    Triple Feature - Round Up, Time Warp, Hollywood's Greatest Hits
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89006 Release Date: 11/23/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Donald Dorsey,  Richard Strauss,  Jerry Goldsmith,  Alexander Courage  ... 
    Performer:  Donald Dorsey,  Frankie Laine
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  May Festival Chorus
    On sale! $31.98
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  • 16.
    Bella Espańa - Music Inspired By Spain
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80662 Release Date: 11/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Manuel de Falla,  Enrique Granados,  Joaquin Rodrigo  ... 
    Performer:  Angel Romero,  Celedonio Romero,  David Russell
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Guitar Quartet,  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,  Naples Philharmonic Florida
    CD: $11.99
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  • 17.
    Hanson: Bold Island Suite, Etc / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80649 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Hanson
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 18.
    Hanson: Bold Island Suite, Etc / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 60649 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Hanson
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 19.
    Rozsa: Three Choral Suites / Kunzel, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80631 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Miklós Rózsa
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    Breathe - The Relaxing Guitar
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80512 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Maxwell Davies,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Sting,  Joaquin Rodrigo  ... 
    Performer:  David Russell,  Angel Romero,  William Kanengiser,  Scott Tennant  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Guitar Quartet,  Naples Philharmonic Florida
    CD: $11.99
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  • 21.
    Ballet Favorites / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80625 Release Date: 10/26/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Dukas,  Frédéric Chopin,  Léo Delibes,  Léon Fyodorovich Minkus  ... 
    Performer:  Gillian Benet
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $16.99
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  • 22.
    Classics - Tchaikovsky: 1812;  Beethoven, Liszt / Kunzel
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80640 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 23.
    Bella Tuscany - Music Inspired By Tuscany
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80644 Release Date: 06/22/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Patterson,  Yolanda Kondonassis,  Angel Romero,  Fernando De La Mora
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Rudolf Werthen,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Louis Lane  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Orchestra of Flanders,  May Festival Chorus  ... 
    CD: $10.99
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  • 24.
    Epics / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80600 Release Date: 09/23/2003  
    Composer:  Elmer Bernstein,  John T. Williams,  Maurice Jarre,  Howard Shore  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $16.99
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  • 25.
    American Maestros - Classical Selections
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80606 Release Date: 07/22/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Traditional,  George Frideric Handel,  George Enescu  ... 
    Performer:  Christine Goerke,  Richard Leech,  Sylvia McNair
    Conductor:  Robert Spano,  Craig Jessop,  Martin Pearlman,  Erich Kunzel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra at Temple Square,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir  ... 
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