Leopold Stokowski

Composers

Biography

Born: Apr 18, 1882; England   Died: Sep 13, 1977; England  
Leopold Anthony Stokowski, one of the true conducting luminaries of the twentieth century, was born in London in 1882. His father was English, of Polish and Scottish descent, and his mother of Irish lineage. Stokowski himself was raised as an Englishman. His famous, vaguely foreign, accent somehow appeared later in his life. The young Stokowski was a precocious musician, and as a child learned to play the violin, piano, and organ with apparently Read more little effort. At the age of 13, he became the youngest person to have been admitted to the Royal College of Music.
By 18, Stokowski had been appointed organist and choirmaster at St. James', Piccadilly. He attended Queen's College, Oxford, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in 1903. He moved to the United States in 1905, but returned to Europe each summer for further musical studies in Berlin, Munich, and Paris. When a conductor fell ill in Paris in 1908, he made his debut as an emergency substitute. The impression he made led to a position with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in which he quickly achieved notable success. However, a more tempting prospect faced him when he was asked to take over the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1912. It was during his long and fruitful association with this ensemble that Stokowski established himself as one of the leading musicians of his day.
Stokowski gave the orchestra an entirely new sound, popularly known as the "Philadelphia Sound" or the "Stokowski Sound." Its foundation was a luxuriant, sonorous tone and an exacting attention to color. He pioneered the use of "free" bowing, which produced a rich, homogenized string tone. A relentless innovator, Stokowski experimented with orchestral seating, famously lining up the string basses across the rear of the stage and, in an early instance, massing all the violins on the left side of the orchestra and the cellos on the right. He also had spotlights directed on his hands and his impressively prominent hair to enhance his dramatic, theatrical aura. One of the first modern conductors to give up the use of the baton, Stokowski employed graceful, almost hypnotic, hand gestures to work his magic.
Indeed, Stokowski was the first conductor to become a true superstar. He was regarded as something of a matinee idol, an image aided by his appearances in such films as the Deanna Durbin spectacle One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937) and, most famously, as the flesh-and-blood leader of the Philadelphia Orchestra in Walt Disney's animated classic Fantasia (1940). In one memorable instance, he appears to be talking to the cartoon figure of Mickey Mouse, the "star" of a sequence featuring Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice. In a clever parody, when the slumbering apprentice dreams of himself directing the forces of Nature with the masterful sweep of his hands, Disney artists copied Stokowski's own conducting gestures.
Following his tenure in Philadelphia, Stokowski directed several other ensembles, including the All-American Youth Orchestra (which he founded), the NBC Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic (both as co-conductor), the Houston Symphony Orchestra (1955-1960), and the American Symphony Orchestra, which he organized in 1962. He continued to make concert appearances and studio recordings of both standard works and unusual repertoire (including the first performance and recording of Charles Ives' decades-old Symphony No. 4) well into his nineties. He made his last public appearance as conductor in Venice in 1975, remaining active in the recording studio through 1977. He died on September 13, 1977, in Nether Wallop, Hampshire, England. Read less
Browse 101-125 of 125 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Liszt / Stokowski, Stokowski So
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 522 Release Date: 06/23/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Mitchell Miller
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Stokowski - Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky / Philadelphia
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 521 Release Date: 01/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov,  Alexander Glazunov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 103.
    The Only Opera Cd You'll Ever Need
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68823 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Moffo,  Helen Donath,  Roberta Peters,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Lorin Maazel,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
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  • 104.
    Leopold Stokowski Conducts Vaughan Williams, Et Al
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9074 Release Date: 05/20/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
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  • 105.
    Rachmaninoff - Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68788 Release Date: 04/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Leonard Pennario,  Kathryn Stott,  Byron Janis,  Alexis Weissenberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Charles Munch,  Eugene Ormandy,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 106.
    Stokowski - Tchaikovsky, Strauss / Hollywood Bowl Symphony
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 506 Release Date: 10/29/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra,  New York City Symphony
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  • 107.
    The Age Of Living Stereo - A Tribute To John Pfeiffer
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 68524 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Martial Singher,  David Poleri,  Artur Rubinstein,  Carl Poole  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra members,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Harvard Glee Club  ... 
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  • 108.
    Stokowski - Russian Masterworks
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 505 Release Date: 05/14/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Igor Stravinsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 109.
    Stokowski - First Releases
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 502 Release Date: 08/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Scriabin,  Robert Kelly,  Stephen Foster  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
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  • 110.
    Bizet - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64594 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Beverly Sills,  Richard Tucker,  Agnes Baltsa,  José Carreras  ... 
    Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz,  Pierre Dervaux,  Placido Domingo,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Tallis Chamber Choir  ... 
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  • 111.
    Philadelphia Rarities
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 501 Release Date: 12/21/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leopold Stokowski,  Manuel de Falla,  Joaquin Turina,  Arcady Dubensky  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Hilsberg,  Jeanne Behrend,  Alexander Kelberine
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
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  • 112.
    Stockholm Philharmonic - 75 Years 1914-1989
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 421 Release Date: 09/23/1994   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gösta Nyström,  Daniel-François Auber  ... 
    Performer:  Frederick Hemke,  Kerstin Thorborg,  Joel Berglund,  Harriet Selin  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Arturo Toscanini,  Tor Mann,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Musikaliska Sällskapet,  Stockholm University Chorus
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  • 113.
    Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff - The 4 Piano Concertos, Etc
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61658 Release Date: 08/16/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Classical Music For People Who Hate Classical Music
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 62664 Release Date: 07/19/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  George Gershwin,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Pasquale Cardillo,  Earl Wild,  Leonard Pennario,  Géza Anda  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Fritz Reiner,  Richard Kapp,  Géza Anda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 115.
    Josten: Jungle, Concerto Sacro, Symphony In F
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 597 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Werner Josten
    Performer:  David Del Tredici
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  William Strickland
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 116.
    Basic 100 Vol 26 - Rodrigo And Villa-lobos / Bream
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61723 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Joaquin Rodrigo
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Anna Moffo
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Leo Brouwer,  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Victor Chamber Orchestra,  Monteverdi Orchestra
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  • 117.
    Prima Voce - Tibbett In Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7825 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Lawrence Tibbett,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Leonard Warren,  Rose Bampton  ... 
    Conductor:  Nathaniel Shilkret,  Rosario Bourdon,  Wilfrid Pelletier,  Alexander Smallens  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Glenn Gould Edition - Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 52632 Release Date: 10/27/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Leonard Bernstein,  Vladimir Golschmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 119.
    World's Greatest Choruses
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61241 Release Date: 09/08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Martin Luther,  George Frideric Handel,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Dunn,  Thomas Pyle,  Genevičve Macaux,  Monique Linval  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Robert Shaw,  Richard Westenburg,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia,  Robert Shaw Chorale  ... 
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  • 120.
    Stress Busters- Music For A Stress-less World
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60710 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Newton Wayland,  John Varner
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Leopold Stokowski,  Ettore Stratta,  Richard Westenburg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Norman Luboff Choir,  New Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 121.
    Pachelbel Canon And Other Baroque Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60840 Release Date: 09/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Joseph Mouret,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  José Luis Garcia,  Eduard Kaufmann,  Aurčle Nicolet,  Josef Suk  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Rabinowitz,  Leonard Slatkin,  Ettore Stratta,  Rudolf Baumgartner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United Kingdom Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Baroque Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 122.
    Canteloube: Songs Of The Auvergne, Villa-lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No 5 / Moffo, Stokowski
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 7831 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Joseph Canteloube
    Performer:  Anna Moffo
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra
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  • 123.
    Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff: Concertos 2 & 3 / Stokowski, Ormandy
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 5997 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 124.
    Leopold Stokowski In Performance
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 657 Release Date: 01/01/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Richard Wagner,  César Franck
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Symphony of the Air,  Hilversum Radio Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Wagner Weekend - Ride Of The Valkyries
    Label: London/Decca Weekend Classics   Catalog: 421020 Release Date: 09/20/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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