Sir John Barbirolli

Composers

Biography

Born: 1899   Died: 1970   Country: England  
Sir John Barbirolli studied cello as a boy, making his debut public appearance at the age of twelve. He received a formal education at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, from which he graduated in 1916. Upon graduation, he found a position in the Queen's Hall Orchestra, becoming its youngest member. He made his professional solo debut as a cellist in Aeolian Hall, London, in 1917.

During World War I he joined the Read more British Army; while in the service he got his first taste of conducting by leading an all-volunteer orchestra. After his service ended in 1919, he returned to the Queen's Hall Orchestra. He also resumed performances as a cello soloist, appearing with the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra. He joined and toured with the International String Quartet beginning in 1923. Soon after, he organized and conducted a chamber orchestra in Chelsea.

The British National Opera Company engaged him to conduct on tour. On December 12, 1927, he attracted attention by successfully substituting as conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra when Sir Thomas Beecham was indisposed; during the 1928 season he began to conducting opera regularly in London at both Sadler's Wells and Covent Garden.

In 1933 he was appointed permanent conductor of the Scottish Orchestra, remaining in that position for three seasons. At the same time he was the conductor of the Leeds Symphony Orchestra, and guest-conducted several orchestras at home and abroad. During the 1936-1937 season he accepted a ten-week position as guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic. This led to an invitation to assume the principal conductorship of that orchestra, in which capacity he succeeded Arturo Toscanini. Barbirolli remained with the Philharmonic through 1942. During his tenure in New York, he gave the world premieres of the Violin Concerto and the Sinfonia da Requiem of Benjamin Britten, then resident in New York. While in the United States, Barbirolli also appeared with various American and Canadian orchestras.

Barbirolli was never a favorite of the New York critics during his time with the Philharmonic, and many audience members wanted something more flamboyant than his objective approach. And his relationship with the members of the orchestra wasn't always harmonious; but he had the support of Arthur Judson, the orchestra's manager, who especially appreciated the fact that the conductor tended to work well with guest soloists, whose performances were a major source of prestige for the orchestra. He was reportedly offered a new contract at the end of his fifth year, but to accept would have required him to take American citizenship, something he was unwilling to do with England locked in the midst of a battle for survival. He returned to England in 1943 and began his long tenure as conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, which he ultimately transformed into a world class ensemble rivaling the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic, as well as such postwar ensembles as the Royal Philharmonic and the Philharmonia; in 1958 he reduced the number of yearly concerts he performed with them when he took the title "Conductor-in-Chief," and in 1968 he retired from the Hallé with the title "Conductor Laureate for Life ."

Meanwhile, he had returned to America; recruited by the Houston Symphony Orchestra's indefatigable patroness Ima Hogg to succeed Leopold Stokowski, he became their conductor from 1961-1967. The 1960s were also marked by many guest and touring appearances with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Hallé. He was knighted in 1949 and was made a Companion of Honour in 1969.

His repertoire centered on the late Romantic era, and on British composers Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Delius; he led the first performances of Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 8 ;the composer also bestowed the nickname "Glorious John" upon the conductor. Aside from the music of Britten, he showed little interest in music of modern tendencies; late in his career, though, he developed a particular affinity for Gustav Mahler. Barbirolli left a notable recorded legacy that extends well into the stereo LP era. Read less

Browse 251-104 of 104 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4 5
  • 251.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2; Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 6 / Barbirolli
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 265921 Release Date: 04/03/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 252.
    Puccini: Madama Butterfly / Barbirolli, Scotto, Bergonzi
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 69654 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Anna di Stasio,  Silvana Padoan,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Rolando Panerai  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $16.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 253.
    Verdi, Mozart: Requiem / Barbirolli, Barenboim
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 62892 Release Date: 06/27/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Jon Vickers,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Montserrat Caballé  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Chorus,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $11.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 254.
    Jacqueline Du Pré - Favorite Cello Concertos
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63283 Release Date: 05/07/1990   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Mathias Georg Monn,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $32.49
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $32.49 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $24.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 255.
    Impressions / Jacqueline Du Pre - Elgar, Haydn, Beethoven
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 69707 Release Date: 09/12/1989   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $16.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 256.
    100 Best Adagio Voices
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64292 Release Date: 09/22/0009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Philippe Jaroussky,  Toby Spence,  Barbara Hendricks  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée,  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Andrew Parrott  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Taverner Players  ... 
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 257.
    Label: Encore Productions   Catalog: 1597 Release Date: 12/23/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Licia Albanese,  Giulio Tomei,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Charles Kullman  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alfredo Antonini,  Giuseppe Antonicelli
    CD: $20.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $20.99 Add CD to Cart

1 2 3 4 5