Leopold Stokowski photo

Leopold Stokowski

Birth name:
Antoni Stanislaw Boleslawawicz
Date of Birth:
13 September 1882 London, England, UK
Leopold Stokowski, the most flamboyant conductor of the 20th century, was as famous for his flashy effects as for his music-making. Although always acclaimed as technically a great conductor, he was, until recently, looked down on by intellectuals and ultraserious critics as a conductor who often cheapened the music for popular acceptance, as opposed to conductors like Toscanini. He would re-orchestrate great masterpieces often, making Bach sound as if he had written his works in the style of Tchaikovsky, and he would often cut even short works and rewrite their endings. But he was also a pioneer in the use of hi-fi-sound and in bringing great music to the screen, and today there is a new respect for his orchestrations and the rich sound he got from his orchestras.