Erich Leinsdorf

Erich Leinsdorf (Erich Landauer) (February 4, 1912 – September 11, 1993) was an Austrian-born American conductor.cite book | last=Slonimsky | first=N. | edition=8th edition | pages=p. 559| title=The Concise Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians | location=New York | publisher=G. Schirmer | year=1994 | isbn=002872416X] He performed and recorded with leading orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and Europe, earning a reputation for exacting standards as well as an acerbic personality.cite web | url=http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:1vae4jj71wav~T1 | title=Erich Leinsdorf Biography | publisher=All Music | author=Bruce Eder| date= | accessdate=2007-05-25] He also published books and essays on musical matters.

Biography

Leinsdorf was born in Vienna, and was studying music at a local school by the age of 5. He studied conducting at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and later at the University of Vienna and the Vienna Academy of Music. From 1934 to 1937 he worked as an assistant to Bruno Walter and Arturo Toscanini at the Salzburg Festival. He conducted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City from 1938, being particularly noted for his Wagner; after the sudden death of Artur Bodanzky in 1939, Leinsdorf was named the Met's "head of German repertoire".

In 1942 Leinsdorf became a naturalized American citizen. From 1943 he had a brief three-year post as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra, but was absent for much of this tenure because he was drafted into the United States Armed Forces for World War II; the orchestra did not renew Leinsdorf's contract. Many years later, in the transition in Cleveland from Lorin Maazel to Christoph von Dohnányi between 1982 and 1984, Leinsdorf returned to lead several concerts; Leinsdorf described his role as "the bridge between the regimes".cite book | last=Rosenberg | first=Donald | title=The Cleveland Orchestra Story | location=Cleveland, OH | publisher=Gray & Co. | year=2000 | isbn=1-886228-24-8]

He was the principal conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1947 to 1955. Leinsdorf came to despair of what he saw as Rochester's insular musical culture, famously remarking that "Rochester is the best disguised dead end in the world!" Subsequently he was briefly head of the New York City Opera, before resuming his association with the Met.

In 1962 he was named music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His time in Boston would produce many recordings for RCA, but was also marked by controversy, as he occasionally clashed with musicians and administrators.

More than once Leinsdorf's performances were interrupted by historical events. On November 22, 1963, during a performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he delivered this sad news: "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a press report over the wires ... We hope that it is unconfirmed but we have to doubt it ... that the President of the United States has been victim ... of an assassination. [audience gasps and murmurs loudly] We will play the "Funeral March" from Beethoven's third symphony."cite book | last=Bennett | first=Susan | coauthors= | title=President Kennedy Has Been Shot: Experience the Moment-To-Moment Account of the Four Days That Changed America | location=Naperville, IL | publisher=Sourcebooks Mediafusion | year=2003 | isbn=1402201583] He was referring to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas.

In the middle of conducting a concert series with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1967, Leinsdorf abruptly fled the country at the start of the Six-Day War; he left so hurriedly that he even forgot to take his tuxedo. Upon Leinsdorf's sudden departure, Zubin Mehta went to conduct the orchestra during the war.cite web | url=http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/8894/edition_id/168/format/html/displaystory.html | title=Adversity brings out the best in the Israel Philharmonic | publisher=Jewish news weekly of Northern California | author=Steve Cohen| date=1998-06-05 | accessdate=2007-05-25]

In 1969 Leinsdorf left the Boston post. He would continue to guest-conduct operas and orchestras around the world for the next two decades, being particularly associated with the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. He also served from 1978 to 1980 as principal conductor of the (West) Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. He died of cancer in Zurich, Switzerland, at the age of 81.

Recordings

Leinsdorf made numerous recordings throughout his career, including some 78-rpm discs for Columbia Records with the Cleveland Orchestra. He made a number of recordings with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Capitol. In the 1950s, he was conductor for a series of complete stereophonic opera recordings for RCA Victor, made in Rome, beginning with Puccini's "Tosca" with Zinka Milanov, Jussi Bjoerling, and Leonard Warren (RCA CD #63305). He continued to record for RCA as music director of the Boston Symphony. Later he again made additional operatic recordings, including the first complete stereo recording of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's "Die tote Stadt", with Carol Neblett and René Kollo (RCA CD #87767 [2] ) . Also under RCA, Leinsdorf conducted the BSO with pianist Arthur Rubinstein in recording The Rubinstein Collection, which included the second complete recording of all of Beethoven's piano concertos by Rubinstein.

elected discography

Recordings made with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for RCA Records:

* 1962 Bela Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra
* 1964 Bela Bartok: Violin Concerto No. 2 Violinist, Joseph Silverstein
* 1969 Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
* 1967 Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 2
* 1962 Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55
* 1966 Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat, Op. 60
* 1968 Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67
* 1969 Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in C Minor, Op. 68
* 1966 Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92
* 1969 Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93
* 1969 Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 "The Choral" with the New England Conservatory Chorus and Chorus Pro Musica with soloists Jane Marsh, Josephine Veasey, Plácido Domingo, and Sherill Milnes
* 1967 Ludwig van Beethoven: "Creatures of Prometheus - Excerpts"
* 1967 Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15, Pianist: Artur Rubenstein
* 1967 Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2, Pianist: Artur Rubenstein
* 1965 Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3, Pianist: Artur Rubenstein
* 1964 Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4, Pianist: Artur Rubenstein
* 1963 Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, Pianist: Artur Rubenstein
* 1966 Ludwig van Beethoven: "Coriolan Overture", Op. 62
* 1966 Ludwig van Beethoven: "Leonore Overture" No. 2, Op. 72
* 1963 Ludwig van Beethoven: "Leonore Overture" No. 3, Op. 72a
* 1965 Alban Berg: "Le Vin", Soloist: Phyllis Curtin
* 1964 Alban Berg: "Wozzeck - excerpts", Soloist: Phyllis Curtin
* 1964 Hector Berlioz: "Damnation of Faust - Rakoczy March"
* 1963 Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1
* 1964 Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73
* 1966 Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3
* 1966 Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98
* 1964 Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1, Pianist: Van Cliburn
* 1964 Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1, Pianist: Artur Rubenstein
* 1968 and 1969 Johannes Brahms: "Requiem", Soloists: M. Caballe and Sherill Milnes with the New England Conservatory Chorus
* 1966 Johannes Brahms: "Tragic Overture", Op. 81
* 1966 Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 4, "The Romantic"
* 1967 Elliot Carter: Piano Concerto, Pianist: Jacob Lateiner
* 1967 Michael Colgrass: "As quiet as"
* 1963 Norman Dello Joio: "Fantasy and Variations", Pianist: Lorin Hollander
* 1967 Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 6
* 1967 Antonin Dvorak: Slavonic Dance, Op. 72, No. 2
* 1967 Antonin Dvorak: Slavonic Dance, Op. 72, No. 8
* 1967 Antonin Dvorak: Romance in F, Violinist: Itzhak Perlman
* 1963 Gabriel Faure: "Elegie", Cellist: Samuel Mayes
* 1966 Irving Fine: "Serious Song"
* 1965 Irving Fine: "Toccata Concertante"
* 1968 Alberto Ginastera: Piano Concerto, Pianist: Joao Carlos Martin
* 1968 Alberto Ginastera: "Variaciones Concertantes"
* 1966 Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 93 in D Major
* 1968 Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 96 in D Major
* 1964 Zoltan Kodaly: "Peacock Variations"
* 1965 Zoltan Kodaly: "Harry Janos, Suite"
* 1963 Joseph Lanner: "Die Mozartisten Waltzes"
* 1962 Gustav Mahler: Symphony 1
* 1966 Gustav Mahler: Symphony 3, Soloist: Shirley Verrett with the New England Conservatory Chorus
* 1963 Gustav Mahler: Symphony 5
* 1965 Gustav Mahler: Symphony 6
* 1962 & 63 Felix mendelssohn: "A Midsummer Night's Dream, excerpts", Soloists: Arlene Saunders and Helen Vanni with Berkshire Festival Chorus
* 1964 Gian Carlo Menotti: "The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi", Soloist: Lili Chookasian and George London with members of the Catholic Memorial and St. Joseph's High School Glee Clubs
* 1967 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony 36
* 1969 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony 39
* 1963 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony 41
* 1963 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: "Eine kleine Nachtmusik"
* 1964 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: "Requiem", Soloists: Endich, Eunice Alberts, DiVirgilio, and Mac Morgan with a chorus of members from the Chorus Pro Musica, New England Conservatory Chorus, St. John's Seminary, Harvard Glee Club, and Radcliffe Choral Society
* 1968 Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony 2
* 1966 Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony 3
* 1963 Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony 5
* 1965 Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony 6
* 1966 Sergei Prokofiev: "Scythian Suite", Op. 20
* 1968 Sergei Prokofiev: "Lt. Kije Suite", Op. 60 with David Clatworthy
* 1963 Sergei Prokofiev: Cello Symphony, Cellist: Samuel Mayes
* 1965 Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1, Pianist: John Browning
* 1965 Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 16 Pianist: John Browning
* 1967 Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3, Pianist: John Browning
* 1967 Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 4, Pianist: John Browning
* 1964 Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 5, Pianist: Lorin Hollander
* 1969 Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 5, Pianist: John Browning
* 1964 Sergei Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1, Violinist: Erick Friedman
* 1966 Sergei Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63 Violinist: Itzhak Perlman
* 1967 Sergei Prokofiev: "Romeo and Juliet - excerpts"
* 1963 & 1964 Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov: "Le Coq d'Or, Suite"
* 1969 Xavier Scharwenka: Piano Concerto No. 1, Pianist: Earl Wind
* 1964 Arnold Schoenberg: "Gurre-Lieder" - Interlude and Song of the Wood Dove, Soloist: Lili Chookasian
* 1969 Arnold Schoenberg: Survivor of Warsaw, Soloist: Sherill Milnes and the New England Conservatory Chorus
* 1964 Gunther Schuller: "Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee"
* 1963 Robert Schumann: Symphony No. 4
* 1966 Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Violinist: Itzhak Perlman
* 1964 John Phillip Sousa: "Stars and Stripes Forever"
* 1965 Richard Strauss: "The Egyptian Helen - Awakening Scene", Soloist: Leontyne Price
* 1965 Richard Strauss: "Salome - Dance fo the Seven Veils", Soloist: Leontyne Price
* 1965 Richard Strauss: "Salome - Interlude and Final Scene", Soloist: Leontyne Price
* 1963 Richard Strauss: "Ein Heldenleben", Violinist: Joseph Silverstein
* 1965 Igor Stravinsky: "Agon"
* 1965 Igor Stravinsky: Violin Concerto, Violinist: Joseph Silverstein
* 1964 Igor Stravinsky: "Firebird, Suite"
* 1964 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: "Marche Slav"
* 1963 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, Pianist: Artur Rubenstein
* 1966 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, Pianist: Mischa Dichter
* 1967 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op.35 Violinist: Itzhak Perlman
* 1964 & 1965 Verdi: "Requiem", Soloists: Birgit Nilsson, Lili Chookasian, Carlo Bergonzi, and Ezio Flagello with the Chorus Pro Musica
* 1967 Richard Wagner: "Flying Dutchman", Overture
* 1965 Richard Wagner: "Lohegrin", complete opera
* 1965 Richard Wagner: "Lohegrin", Act 1 Prelude
* 1965 Richard Wagner: "Lohegrin", Act 3 Prelude
* 1967 Richard Wagner: "Meistersinger" Act 1 Prelude
* 1967 Richard Wagner: "Tannhauser", Overture
* 1964 Richard Wagner: "Tannhauser", March
* 1967 Richard Wagner: "Tristan and Isolde", Prelude
* 1969 Kurt Weill: "Kleine Dreigroschenmusik "

Television

Leinsdorf with the BSO appreared regularly on local broadcasts from WGBH-TV. On August 17, 1967, Leinsdorf conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a two-hour primetime special telecast in color on NBC, a reflection of the days when a commercial network would periodically broadcast a full-length classical concert. The program, entitled "An Evening at Tanglewood", featured violinist Itzhak Perlman as guest soloist. [cite news | url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,840943,00.html | title=An Evening at Tanglewood | work=Time | author= | date=16 August 1967| accessdate=2007-07-15]

Bibliography

*cite book | last=Leinsdorf | first=Erich | title=Cadenza: A Musical Career | location=Boston | publisher=Houghton Mifflin | year=1976 | isbn=0395244013
*cite book | last=Leinsdorf | first=Erich | title=The Composer's Advocate: A Radical Orthodoxy for Musicians | location=New Haven | publisher=Yale University Press | year=1981 | isbn=0300024274
*cite book | last=Leinsdorf | first=Erich | title=Erich Leinsdorf on Music | location=Portland, OR | publisher=Amadeus Press | year=1997 | isbn=157467028X

References

External links

*allmusic|41:8265


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