David Mellor: Sunday 25 November 2012 - Stokowski

David Mellor considers Leopold Stokowski one of his musical heroes and is thrilled to devote 2 hours to recordings of performances with him at the podium: “He shows a focus, a verve, a panache, a flair, a charisma that a conductor several decades younger at the height of his powers would be hard put to emulate.”

David describes Leopold Stokowski as “a genius in every sense of the word”.  Inspired by The Columbia Stereo Recordings box set released earlier this year, David selects music by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Sibelius and more, recorded with one of the 20th century’s most celebrated conductors on the podium.

Born and raised in London,  Stokowski  enrolled in the Royal College of Music at the tender age of 13, making him one of the youngest ever students to do so. He went on to Queen's College Oxford where he obtained his Bachelor of Music in 1903. Shortly afterwards, he began work in the US and soon became affiliated with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

It was here that he gained most of his popularity and where he established his own conducting and theatrical performing ‘style’ for which he is best known. Discarding the use of a baton, Stokowski would throw sheet music down to show he didn’t need it, and he even experimented with lighting for dramatic effect.  His main advocacy in life, however, was to encourage contemporary music; he insisted on performing the music of (then) living composers, and was a self confessed ‘Sibelian’; David will reflect this by including 'The Swan of Tuonela' and the opening movement of Sibelius' Symphony No.1 in the show.

Leopold Stokowski: The Columbia Stereo Recordings
Sony Classical 88691971152

ComposerFind out more
Mendelssohn >>Discover the Classical music era
Sibelius >>Discover the Romantic music era