John Pritchard

Biography

Born: February 5, 1921; London, England   Died: December 5, 1989; San Francisco, CA  
Noted more for his high competence than for electrifying interpretation in an ever-broadening repertory, Sir John Pritchard was nonetheless one of the most prominent of Britain's post-WWII conductors and an exemplar of the increasingly international scope of a conductor's interests. By the 1980s, he had assumed four important posts, all of which required considerable attention (Cologne Opera, Belgian Opéra Nationale, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Read more the San Francisco Opera) even as he dealt with guest engagements elsewhere.

Pritchard was born to a family in which music was a constant. His father was a violinist and gave his son his first musical instruction. Later, the youth traveled to Italy to study conducting, viola, and piano (the latter critical to the progress he made from répétiteur to orchestra director). He served in WWII, but was released due to poor health. After resuming his musical activities as conductor of the semi-professional Derby String Orchestra between 1943 and 1945, he was engaged by the 1947 Glyndebourne Festival prior to its July through September performances at the Edinburgh Festival that year. The following year, Pritchard was promoted from coaching duties to chorus master and later, assistant to conductor Fritz Busch. Pritchard's podium debut came in 1951 when he took over a performance from the ailing Busch. Indeed, Busch's death in September, 1951, opened the way to Pritchard's career as a conductor. Within the decade, he was leading almost as many performances as those of Glyndebourne mainstay Vittorio Gui.

In 1952, Glyndebourne gave Pritchard sole responsibility for Mozart's Idomeneo and, in 1953, the young conductor enjoyed his first unqualified success with Ariadne auf Naxos, remarkable also for the superb performance of Sena Jurinac. Pritchard's close association with Glyndebourne extended through more than three decades, culminating with his musical directorship from 1969 to 1978.

Meanwhile, Pritchard had undertaken engagements abroad, most notably with the Vienna Staatsoper during the 1951 - 1952 season. Autumn 1952 found him at Covent Garden for his first appearance there, and in 1953, he made his American conducting debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. From 1957 to 1963, he was music director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, a position which overlapped his directorship of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1962 - 1966). International tours encompassing several countries included performances in 1966 at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Pritchard's American opera debut came with Chicago's Lyric Opera in 1969. His first Metropolitan Opera appearance, conducting Cosě fan Tutte in October, 1971, was followed three years later by five successive seasons leading works as diverse as Peter Grimes and Thaďs. In 1973, he was made music director of England's venerable Huddersfield Choral Society.

Appointment to the position of principal conductor at the Cologne Opera in 1978 began the process that eventually found him occupying four major positions. In 1981, he also became music director at the Monnaie in Brussels, in 1982 the music director of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and in 1986 the music director at the San Francisco Opera. In the American city, he was well-liked by musicians and audiences alike. At the time of his death, he was preparing to conduct an integral performance of Wagner's Ring. Pritchard was made a CBE in 1962 and was awarded a knighthood in 1983. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 95 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    British Symphonies
    Label: Lyrita Recorded Edition - Nimb   Catalog: SRCD2355 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  William Sterndale Bennett,  Cyril Rootham,  Ernest John Moeran,  Arnold Bax  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicolas Braithwaite,  Vernon Handley,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Myer Fredman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 2.
    Opera Gold: 100 Great Tracks
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002503602 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 3.
    The Menuhin Century: Luxury Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555050 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 91
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $250.99
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  • 4.
    The Menuhin Century: The Virtuoso & His Landmark Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555054 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Antonio Bazzini,  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Marcel Gazelle,  Ferguson Webster,  Artur Balsam  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Sir Colin Davis,  John Pritchard,  Efrem Kurtz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $38.99
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  • 5.
    The Menuhin Century: Unpublished Recordings & Rarities
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555051 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $67.49
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  • 6.
    Cooke: Symphony Nos. 4 & 5 / Keeffe, Pritchard, BBC Orchestras
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 1123 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Cooke
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Bernard Keeffe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Northern Symphony
    CD: $14.99
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  • 7.
    Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: The Complete Recitals 1952-74
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553028 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 31
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Anny Felbermayer,  Josef Metternich  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Otto Ackermann,  Lovro von Matacic,  Josef Krips  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
    CD: $86.99
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  • 8.
    British Piano Concertos
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 2345 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Malcolm Williamson,  Alun Hoddinott,  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Gerald Finzi  ... 
    Performer:  Malcolm Williamson,  Philip Fowke,  Malcolm Binns,  Peter Katin  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Dommett,  Barry Wordsworth,  Nicholas Braithwaite,  Vernon Handley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Mozart: Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 1116167 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 170
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Christian Bach
    Performer:  Margaret Urquhart,  Pieter-Jan Belder,  Marten Boeken,  Remy Baudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap ter Linden,  Paul Freeman,  János Ferencsik,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Mozart Academy,  Musica Amphion,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $198.99
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  • 10.
    The Verdi Tenor / Carlo Bergonzi
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002089202 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Francesco Cilča,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Giulietta Simionato,  Cornell MacNeil,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Piero de Palma  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Georg Solti,  John Pritchard,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 11.
    Most Wanted Recitals! Verdi: Great Scenes From Aida
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002110002 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 12.
    Kiri Te Kanawa: The Classic Albums [6-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002013002 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Joseph Canteloube,  Richard Strauss,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gottfried H. Stölzel  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Sir Georg Solti,  Gabriele Fontana,  Christopher Bowers-Broadbent  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Tate,  Sir Georg Solti,  Sir Colin Davis,  Gyorgy Fischer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 13.
    Mozart: Idomeneo / Pritchard, Lewis, Simoneau, Jurinac
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94497 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Sena Jurinac,  Léopold Simoneau,  Richard Lewis,  Lucilla Udovich  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  Glyndebourne Festival Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 14.
    O Come All Ye Faithful [classic]
    Label: Mvd Audio   Catalog: 5971 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jean Baptiste Calkin,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Leslie Pierson,  John Paice,  Richard Lewis
    Conductor:  Peter Knight,  John McCarthy,  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The London Bell Ringers
    CD: $10.99
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  • 15.
    Verdi: Macbeth / Paskalis, Morris, Barstow, Pritchard
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102316 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Kostas Paskalis,  Keith Erwen,  Josephine Barstow,  James Morris  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 16.
    Verdi: Falstaff / Pritchard, Gramm, Luxon, Griffel, Gale
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102315 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Nucci Condo,  Kay Griffel,  Donald Gramm,  Benjamin Luxon  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
    Recommendation
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 17.
    Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro / Skram, Cotrubas, Te Kanawa, Von Stade, Pritchard
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102301 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Nucci Condo,  Benjamin Luxon,  Ileana Cotrubas,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte / Pritchard, Glyndebourne Festival 1975
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102309 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Anson Austin,  Sylvia Lindenstrand,  Helena Döse,  Daniele Perriers  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 19.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 165022 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana,  Engelbert Humperdinck  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Gerald Moore,  Edwin Fischer  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Heinrich Schmidt,  Herbert von Karajan,  Lovro von Matacic  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    30 Years At La Monnaie/De Munt
    Label: Cypress (Canada)   Catalog: 8603 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  José Van Dam,  Catherine Malfitano,  Scot Weir,  Bart Ravache  ... 
    Conductor:  Sylvain Cambreling,  John Pritchard,  Antonio Pappano,  Michael Schoenwandt  ... 
    On sale! $27.98
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  • 21.
    Icon - John Ogdon
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4637 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Paul Dukas,  Henri Dutilleux,  Florent Schmitt,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Lawrence Foster,  Paavo Berglund,  John Pritchard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $58.99
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  • 22.
    Maria Callas - The Live Recitals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 59794 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Léo Delibes,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Nicola Rescigno,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Jeffrey Tate
    Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Georges Prętre,  Nicola Rescigno,  Alfredo Simonetto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  ORTF National Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $55.98
    CD: $43.99
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  • 23.
    Joan Sutherland: Rare Broadcasts
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1185 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giovanni Bononcini,  Charles Edward Horn  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  April Cantelo,  Richard Bonynge,  Ernest Lush  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Alberto Erede
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cappella Coloniensis
    Recommendation
    CD: $9.99
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  • 24.
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 184 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo [Tenor Vocals] Bergonzi,  Ettore Bastianini,  Antonietta [Soprano Vocals] Stella,  Giulietta Simionato  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Tullio Serafin,  John Pritchard  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 25.
    Opera Arias
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001707702 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Huguette Tourangeau,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli,  Richard Bonynge,  Fausto Cleva,  Silvio Varviso  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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