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 51-75 of 125 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Ultimate Classical Relaxation - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001079002 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Alicia de Larrocha,  Neil Black,  Tess Miller,  Carmel Kaine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger,  Sir Neville Marriner,  András Schiff,  Thurston Dart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe  ... 
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  • 52.
    Nielsen: Symphony no 2 / Stokowski, Danish National SO
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4437 Release Date: 01/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Ives: Symphony No 4, Browning Overture, Songs / Stokowski
    Label: Cbs Masterworks Portrait   Catalog: 46726 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Ives
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Gregg Smith
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum New York members,  American Symphony Orchestra,  Gregg Smith Singers  ... 
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  • 54.
    The Planets Vol 2 - Other Worlds - Musical Journey Continues
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56151 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kurt Atterberg,  Lars-Erik Larsson,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Robinson
    Conductor:  Stig Westerberg,  Ulf Björlin,  André Previn,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 55.
    Rimsky-korsakov: Scheherazade / Previn, London Symphony
    Label: Rca Silver Seal   Catalog: 60487 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Legendary Strauss Recordings
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60929 Release Date: 07/18/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Bruno Jaenicke,  Scipione Guidi,  Alfred Wallenstein
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg,  Serge Koussevitzky,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 57.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 7; Tchaikovsky / Stokowski
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4408 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Moritz International Youth Orchestra,  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Salute To Democracy - Right Honorable Margaret Thatcher
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54539 Release Date: 05/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gustav Holst,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Margaret Thatcher
    Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz,  Sir Adrian Boult,  André Previn,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 59.
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra- The Centennial Collection
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60206 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  César Franck,  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Leontyne Price,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Frederick Stock,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Desiré DeFauw,  Artur Rodzinski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Stokowski And Kubelik Conduct - Stereo Recordings From 1952
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1190 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacob Avshalomov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Mercury Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Ultimate Classical - Chill Out
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000766202 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Cooper,  Ilana Vered,  William Bennett,  Brigitte [Mezzo-Soprano Vocal] Fassbaender  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Herrmann,  Raymond Agoult,  Richard Bonynge,  Stanley Black  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra of London,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 62.
    Ultimate Classics - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000766302 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Edvard Grieg,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Elgar Howarth,  Philip Jones,  Nigel Kennedy,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  George Guest,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Mozart Ensemble
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  • 63.
    Leopold Stokowski Conducts Dvorak, Sibelius, Ravel
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4841 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  All-American Youth Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Leopold Stokowski Conducts Music Of France - Ibert, Et Al
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4778 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Darius Milhaud
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra,  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Highlights / Stokowski, Nbc So
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 543 Release Date: 06/13/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Holnd Fstvl - A Dutch Miracle - Fifty Years - 1947-1997
    Label: Globe   Catalog: 6900 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Rudolf Escher,  Richard Strauss,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Renato Capecchi,  Teresa Berganza,  Giulietta Simionato,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  George Szell,  Jean Fournet,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hague Residentie Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Danzi Woodwind Quintet  ... 
    CD: $44.49
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  • 67.
    Tchaikovsky: Francesca Da Rimini, Serenade / Stokowski, London SO
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186122 Release Date: 04/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Leopold Stokowski And The Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1173 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 69.
    Stokowski - Percy Grainger Favorites
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 542 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Jean Sibelius,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Sibelius: Symphonies 1 & 2 / Stokowski, Nbc Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 541 Release Date: 09/20/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski & His Symphony Orchestra,  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Bizet: Symphony No 1, Etc;  Messiaen / Stokowski
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 242 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Olivier Messiaen
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 72.
    Classical Music 101 - 101 Famous Classical Themes
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63691 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Igor Stravinsky,  Georges Bizet,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  José Luis Garcia,  Placido Domingo,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Barry Douglas  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fritz Reiner,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 73.
    Stokowski - Classic 1947-49 Columbia Recordings Vol 3
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 537 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Thomas Jefferson Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 74.
    Stokowski -fabled Concert Performance -mahler: Symphony No 8
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1130 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Carlos Alexander,  Francis Yeend,  Martha Lipton,  Camilla Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Westminster Choir,  Schola Cantorum New York  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 75.
    Masterpieces - Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Masterpieces Vol 1
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1190 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Leopold Stokowski,  Mario Rossi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  American Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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