April 2012

April 30, 2012

Stokowski's podium

Stokowski left no element of the concert presentation untouched. He put his personal mark on every aspect of the performance, whether it dealt with the concertgoer’s live experience in the hall, the radio broadcast for at-home listeners, or how the Orchestra was heard in recordings. More on that in future posts.

April 24, 2012

Stokowski Celebration Concerts – Bringing modern-day “magic” to the Academy of Music

The Stokowski Celebration concerts this June are the first events of a year-long celebration of Leopold Stokowski’s inaugural season as conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra. In a series of four concerts conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Orchestra returns home to the Academy of Music on June 21-23. These performances will both pay tribute to and carry forward Stokowski’s tradition of innovation and vibrancy. Renowned opera and theater director James Alexander was commissioned by the Orchestra to stage these celebratory concerts.

April 23, 2012

Stokowski’s first program

Here is the actual program page from Stokowski’s first concert after taking over the leadership of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Yannick will lead a near-replica of this program at the Academy in June … nearly 100 years later. As you can see, the original program opened with a Beethoven overture. Audiences were perhaps used to lengthier concerts at the time. But don’t worry; we have our own surprises for the Academy concerts in June.

Here’s what the Star said about that historic day in 1912:

April 20, 2012

Stokowski’s personal belongings—Where did they go?

In searching for Stokowski’s personal items, we learned that much of what he planned to leave behind as a personal archive was lost! The story has been repeated and retold by several people knowledgeable about Stokowski’s final years. After his passing in 1977, his personal archive was being shipped from London to America by boat. The cargo crate reportedly was lost overboard during rough seas. The materials we find now were either left behind in Philadelphia or donated by others who retained items on their own.

April 13, 2012

Welcome to the Stokowski blog - A century of discoveries

The Philadelphia Orchestra has spent the past year performing in-depth research on the great legacy of Leopold Stokowski’s tenure in Philadelphia. In addition to using reference material from the Orchestra’s Archives (housed in the Academy of Music), our journey has taken us to the Leopold Stokowski Papers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, among others.