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 251-275 of 278 Available Recordings
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  • 251.
    Four Famous Wagnerian Tenors
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89981 Release Date: 05/20/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Set Svanholm,  Torsten Ralf,  Lauritz Melchior,  Max Lorenz  ... 
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann,  Hanns Udo Müller,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 252.
    Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff: Piano Concertos / Horowitz
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 5519 Release Date: 03/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 253.
    Mahler: Symphony No 6;  R. Strauss: Heldenleben / Barbirolli
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 69349 Release Date: 01/21/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 254.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Romeo Et Juliette, Faust
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 69020 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 255.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations, Etc / Boult, Barbirolli
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 69022 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 256.
    Jascha Heifetz Concerto Recordings Vol 2 - Brahms, Et Al
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 9167 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Henri Wieniawski,  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Serge Koussevitzky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 257.
    British Composers - Vaughan Williams, Bax / Barbirolli
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 65110 Release Date: 02/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 258.
    British Composers - Vaughan Williams, Ireland / Barbirolli
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 65109 Release Date: 02/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Ireland,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 259.
    Delius: Orchestral Works / Barbirolli, Tear, Jenkins
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65119 Release Date: 02/14/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frederick Delius
    Performer:  Alun Jenkins,  Robert Tear
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 260.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Irene Minghini Cattaneo
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89008 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Irene Minghini-Cattaneo,  Delia De Martis,  Lionello Cecil,  Guglielmo Masini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Carlo Sabajno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 261.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Frieda Leider
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89004 Release Date: 10/14/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Christoph W. Gluck
    Performer:  Frida Leider,  Lauritz Melchior,  Rudolf Laubenthal
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Albert Coates,  Leo Blech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 262.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Lauritz Melchior Vol 3
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89086 Release Date: 07/26/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Lauritz Melchior,  Albert Reiss
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Robert Heger,  Albert Coates,  Leo Blech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra
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  • 263.
    Ravel: Bolero; Daphnis Et Chloe; La Valse; Rapsodie Espagnole
    Label: Bescol   Catalog: 507 Release Date: 07/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
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  • 264.
    Les Introuvables De Jacqueline Du Pré
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68132 Release Date: 05/24/1994   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gabriel Fauré,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Daniel Barenboim,  Gerald Moore,  Stephen Kovacevich  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Malcolm Sargent
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 265.
    Arthur Rubinstein - Chopin
    Label: Emi Classics Références   Catalog: 64933 Release Date: 03/15/1994   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $53.99
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  • 266.
    Alfred Cortot Plays French Concertos - Chopin, Ravel, Et Al
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 9491 Release Date: 01/20/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Alfred Cortot
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Orchestra
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  • 267.
    Prima Voce - Divas Vol 2 (1909-1940)
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7818 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Richard Wagner,  Manuel Ponce,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Mafalda Favero,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Nina Koshetz,  Maggie Teyte  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Sabino,  Hans Lange,  Eugene Ormandy,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Opéra Comique Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 268.
    Prima Voce - Lauritz Melchior
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7816 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Meyerbeer
    Performer:  Lauritz Melchior,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Lotte Lehmann,  Frida Leider
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Edwin McArthur,  Eugene Ormandy,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 269.
    Wieniawski, Vieutemps: Violin Concertos, Etc / Heifetz
    Label: Emi Classics Références   Catalog: 64251 Release Date: 04/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Wieniawski,  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Pablo de Sarasate
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 270.
    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
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  • 271.
    Chopin: Piano Works / Alfred Cortot
    Label: Emi Laser Series   Catalog: 67359 Release Date: 01/23/1992   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Alfred Cortot
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 272.
    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
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  • 273.
    Beniamino Gigli - O Sole Mio
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63390 Release Date: 07/18/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Becce,  Nino Mazziotti,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Beniamino Gigli
    Conductor:  Walter Goehr,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Rinaldo Zamboni,  Franco Ghione  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra  ... 
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  • 274.
    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  ... 
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  • 275.
    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
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