Dimitri Mitropoulos

Biography

Born: March 1, 1896; Athens, Greece   Died: November 2, 1960; Milan, Italy  
Conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos stood apart from the European traditions that dominated first-rank American orchestras for much of the twentieth century. After attending the Athens Conservatory, where he studied piano and composition, his opera Béatrice was presented there. The French composer Saint-Saëns was in the audience, and was so impressed that he arranged a scholarship that enabled the 24-year-old to study composition with the Belgian Read more composer Paul Gilson and piano with Busoni in Berlin. Busoni persuaded him to abandon composition and concentrate on becoming a conductor.

From 1921 to 1925, Mitropoulos assisted Erich Kleiber at the Berlin State Opera and on Kleiber's recommendation, was appointed conductor of the Hellenic Conservatory Symphony Orchestra in Athens. In 1927, he became conductor of the Greek State Symphony Orchestra and in 1930 was engaged to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, where he instituted the practice of conducting from the piano.

In 1937 Mitropoulos succeeded Eugene Ormandy as musical director of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1937. He became a U.S. citizen in 1946, and remained in America until 1959. After 12 years in Minneapolis, he was invited to share the conductorship of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra with Stokowski, becoming its conductor when Stokowski resigned in 1950. Mitropoulos resigned the post after sharing the podium with Leonard Bernstein, his co-principal conductor, in the Orchestra's 1958 tour of Latin America. From 1954, he was a dynamic force as Bruno Walter's successor at New York's Metropolitan Opera, where he introduced many new operas, including ones by Richard Strauss and Samuel Barber.

Mitropoulos never conducted his own works, but considered his best composition to be a Concerto Grosso written in 1929. His lived simply and took little part in social activities. His conducting style was passionate, highly-charged and demonstrative; he had a phenomenal memory and rarely used a baton. The American composer and music critic Virgil Thomson once described him as "oversensitive, overweening, over brutal, over intelligent, underconfident and wholly without ease....His personal excitement borders on hysteria and he distorted music with nervous passion." Whether or not this judgement was true, or fair, he programmed much modern music and particularly admired Schoenberg and the Second Viennese School, such as Webern and Berg, as well as twentieth century American and British composers. His recording of Mahler's First Symphony made with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1941 was the first ever made in the U.S. of that work, and Mitropoulos was awarded the American Mahler Medal of Honor in 1950 for his work in promoting the composer's music. He died while rehearsing Mahler's Third Symphony with Toscanini's famous La Scala Orchestra. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 69 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Gustav Mahler Edition
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 14000 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 21
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Jard van Nes,  Charlotte Margiono,  Dennis Egan,  Helen Watts  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter,  Bernard Haitink,  Jascha Horenstein,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Saxony State Opera Chorus Dresden,  Dresden Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 2.
    The Complete Columbia And Electrola Solo And Concerto Recordings, 1929-1951
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 7701 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Egon Petri,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Egon Petri
    Conductor:  Leslie Heward,  Walter Goehr,  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    CD: $48.99
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  • 3.
    The Art Of Zino Francescatti
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9112 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Paul Ben-Haim  ... 
    Performer:  Zino Francescatti,  Eugenio Bagnoli,  Pierre Fournier
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Dimitri Mitropoulos,  Fernando Previtali
    CD: $19.99
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  • 4.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5; Capriccio Italien
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2396 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
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  • 5.
    Lucerne Festival Historic Performances - Mozart, Beethoven / Haskil, Casadesus
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95623 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Clara Haskil,  Robert Casadesus
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer,  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 6.
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 22310 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 7.
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 22318 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
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  • 8.
    Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; Nuits D'ete (Ii-vi)
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350071 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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    SuperAudio CD: $24.99
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  • 9.
    Puccini: La Fanciulla Del West / Mitropoulos, Steber, Del Monaco, Giacomo, Guelfi, Tozzi, Et Al
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2080 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Giangiacomo Guelfi,  Vito Susca,  Enzo Viaro,  Eleanor Steber  ... 
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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  • 10.
    Puccini: The Great Operas [13-CD Set]
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 9011 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  John Reardon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Victor De Sabata,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Giuseppe Morelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Columbus Boychoir,  RCA Victor Chorus  ... 
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    CD: $38.49
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  • 11.
    Berlioz: Requiem / Mitropoulos, Gedda, Cologne Radio Symphony
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5075 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Orchestra,  Cologne Radio Chorus,  North German Radio Chorus
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    CD: $17.99
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  • 12.
    Berlioz: Grande Messe Des Morts / Gedda, Mitropoulos
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9038 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 13.
    Verdi: Un Ballo In Maschera / Mitropoulos, Milanov, Peters, Anderson,  Peerce
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 791002 Release Date: 08/16/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Robert Merrill,  Roberta Peters,  Marian Anderson,  Zinka Milanov  ... 
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    CD: $18.99
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  • 14.
    Liszt: Piano Sonata, Dante Sonata, Piano Concertos / Claudio Arrau
    Label: Piano Classics   Catalog: 15 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud,  Dimitri Mitropoulos
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  • 15.
    Leon Kirchner: Orchestral Works / Kirchner, Mitropoulos, Hoagland
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1275 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leon Kirchner
    Performer:  Diana Hoagland,  Leon Kirchner
    Conductor:  Leon Kirchner,  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Former Harvard Chamber Orchestra,  Columbia Chamber Ensemble,  New York Philharmonic Society Orchestra
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    CD: $16.99
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  • 16.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 3; Debussy: La Mer / Mitropoulos, Cologne Rso
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5021 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
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    CD: $24.99
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  • 17.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 / Mitropoulos, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 402 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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    CD: $13.99
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  • 18.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 468 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Rosalind [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Elias,  Shakeh Varkanasian,  Herta Glaz,  Ramon Vinay  ... 
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    CD: $9.99
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  • 19.
    Strauss: Don Quixote, Also Sprach Zarathustra / Dimitri Mitropoulos, Et Al
    Label: Medici Masters   Catalog: 35-2 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Paul Schroer,  Alwin Bauer
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    Szymon Goldberg Centenary Edition Vol 1 - Non-commercial Recordings
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1223 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Szymon Goldberg,  Artur Balsam,  Zara Nelsova,  Victor Babin  ... 
    Conductor:  Szymon Goldberg,  Gerhard Samuel,  Eduard Van Beinum,  Dimitri Mitropoulos  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $88.99
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  • 21.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 6 / Mitropoulos, Wdr Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 389 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Wdr Sinfonieorchester
    CD: $13.99
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  • 22.
    Borodin, Saint-saens, Franck, Scriabin: Works For Piano And Orchestra / Rubinstein, Mitropoulos
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2355 Release Date: 07/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  César Franck,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Alexander Borodin
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 23.
    Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Grieg, Etc: Piano Concertos
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 9007 Release Date: 04/28/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Hubert Salwarowski,  Walter Gieseking  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Volker Hartung,  Herbert von Karajan,  Günter Wand  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR Radio/TV Large Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 24.
    Legendary Treasures - Michael Rabin Collection Vol 2
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7951 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Darius Milhaud,  Albert Spalding,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Niccolò Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Rabin,  Lothar Broddack,  Brian Sullivan,  Zino Francescatti
    Conductor:  Donald Voorhees,  Thomas Scherman,  Dimitri Mitropoulos,  Thomas Schippers  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra,  Little Orchestra Society,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
    On sale! $59.98
    CD: $49.99
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  • 25.
    The Art Of Dimitri Mitropoulos Vol 1 - Berg, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1213 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Ernest Chausson,  Igor Stravinsky,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Egon Petri,  Joseph Szigeti,  Jean Casadesus
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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