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 26-50 of 125 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 087 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
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  • 27.
    Essential Strings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94919 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Luigi Boccherini,  George Frideric Handel,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Maxim Vengerov,  Vag Papian,  Georges Armand,  Jean-Patrice Brosse
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Iona Brown  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Virtuosi,  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic
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  • 28.
    Music Of Spain - Rodrigo, Falla, Albeniz / Williams, Entremont, Ormandy, Stokowski
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64340 Release Date: 04/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Manuel de Falla,  Isaac Albeniz,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Shirley Verrett,  Teresa Llacuna,  Philippe Entremont  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Leopold Stokowski,  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 29.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 508 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Martha Lipton,  Carlos Alexander,  Uta Graf,  Camilla Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
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  • 30.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 267 Release Date: 09/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Werner Josten,  Gail Kubik
    Performer:  Arthur Hanneuse,  Marie-Thérčse Chailley,  Frank Glazer
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Gail Kubik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra,  French Radio Orchestra
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  • 31.
    The Music Of America: Charles Ives
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 770049 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Charles Ives
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Eugene Ormandy,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 32.
    Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Szell, Stokowski
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 48264 Release Date: 06/04/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Cowell: Persian Set; Harrison: Suite / Stokowski, Et Al
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 114 Release Date: 03/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Cowell,  Lou Harrison
    Performer:  Jesse Teiko,  Jerome Roth,  David Nadien,  Max Pollikoff  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
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  • 34.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 120 Release Date: 03/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roger Goeb,  Ben Weber
    Performer:  Warren Galjour
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Hovhaness, Milhaud, Copland, Serebrier - Live Recordings 1942-57 / Stokowski
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2347 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Darius Milhaud,  Alan Hovhaness,  José Serebrier
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Houston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 7; Bach, Mendelssohn, Gluck / Stokowski
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 551 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra,  All-American Youth Orchestra,  International Festival Youth Orchestra  ... 
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  • 37.
    Stokowski Conducts Shostakovich - Recordings 1930-42
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1232 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Berlitz Passport - The Music Of France
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47278 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Offenbach,  Claude-Joseph de Lisle,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Entremont,  Harold Gomberg
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Leopold Stokowski,  Leonard Bernstein,  Sir Andrew Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 39.
    Bach / Stokowski - Dolby Surround
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61267 Release Date: 07/02/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Stokowski Conducts Schubert  And Dvorak
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 550 Release Date: 06/09/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Stokowski Conducts Tchaikovsky - The Storm Op 76, Symphony No 5
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2334 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Licia Albanese - Puccini, Mozart, Verdi, Tchaikovsky
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60384 Release Date: 03/12/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Francesco Cilča  ... 
    Performer:  Licia Albanese
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann,  Victor Trucco,  Jean Paul Morel,  Jonel Perlea  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Stokowski conducts Prokofiev, Milhaud, Wagner, Mussorgsky, Etc
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94204 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Darius Milhaud,  Boris Blacher,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Werner Egk  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Baden-Baden Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Stokowski, The Eternal Magician - Debussy, Stravinsky, Wagner, Enescu
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 549 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Igor Stravinsky,  Claude Debussy,  George Enescu
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  All-American Youth Orchestra,  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Dinner Classics - Breakfast In Bed
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 46356 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frederick Delius,  Georges Bizet,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Stutch
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Daniel Barenboim,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Toronto Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 46.
    Sibelius: Finlandia,   Pelléas And Mélisande, Symphonies Nos 1 & 7 / Stokowski
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2341 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Symphony Orchestra,  Helsinki City Symphony Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Thomson: Four Saints In Three Acts, The Plow / Stokowski
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 68163 Release Date: 04/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Virgil Thomson
    Performer:  Ruby Greene,  Inez Matthews,  Edward Matthews,  Charles Holland  ... 
    Conductor:  Virgil Thomson,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Etc / Stokowski, Frankfurt Rso, Et Al
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2329 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Richard Wagner,  Claude Debussy,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Prokofiev, Brahms, Macdowell, Taylor / Stokowski, Nbc So
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2335 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edward MacDowell,  Joseph Deems Taylor,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Frances Nash
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 50.
    The Heart Of The Ballet - Tchaikovsky, Etc / Stokowski
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 547 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léo Delibes,  Frédéric Chopin,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Bloom,  John Wummer
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
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