Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
April 18
Did You Guess? Stokowski and the Philadelphians appeared in Walt Disney's film Fantasia!
Can You Guess? Stokowski was great as the conductor of the Philadelphia orchestra, but many people will remember him as the orchestra conductor in a film where his co-star was involved in a struggle with some mops and buckets.   Can You Guess what film Stokowski and the orchestra appeared in?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
1713 - First performance of Handel's Utrecht Te Deum.

1777 - Birth of German composer Ludwig Berger.

1868 - Brith of German conductor composer Max von Schillings. (Some sources cite April 19 as the actual birth date.)

1924 - Blues singer, guitarist and violinist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was born in Orange, Texas.

1944 - First performance of Leonard Bernstein's ballet Fancy Free.

1965 - Contralto Marian Anderson ends her career.  She was the first African American artist to perfrom on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
Leopold Stokowski's was born April 18, 1882, in London.  As a child he learned to play the violin, piano and organ.  He became the youngest student admitted to the Royal College of Music at age 13.  By 1903 he had been awarded a Bachelor of Music degree.

Stokowski became a church organist in England.  After two years he accepted an offer to become the organist of St. Bartholomew's Church in New York. 
In matters of intonation and technicalities I am more than a martinet--I am martinetissimo!
            Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Stokowski
What Else
Stokowski left St. Bartholomew's after a dispute over musical choices.  He returned to Europe where he married the famous pianist Olga Samaroff.   The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra had engaged her for a concert, and Stokowski was granted permission to conduct it.  The May 12, 1909 concert was a huge success, and Stokowski was instantly engaged for the next season with that orchestra.

In 1912, Stokowski joined the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Within a short time Stokowski vastly improved the sound of the orchestra.  He permitted the strings free bowing, so that members of the sections could each choose their own bowings rather than play as directed by the section leader.  The result was a lush, full sound.  He also experimented with different seatings of the orchestra on stage.  Stokowski became a fixture with the orchestra, remaining there for many years.

Following his tenure in Philadelphia he founded the American Youth Orchestra.  He also was, for a time, co-conductor of the New York Philharmonic and the Houston Symphony.

He recorded more than 700 pieces.

At the age of 94 Stokowski was still popular.  He signed a 5-year contract with Columbia Records.  Unfortunately, Leopold Stokowski died September 13, 1977, the date on which he was scheduled to record Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2. 
Mickey, Stokowski, Disney Magic and Gorgeous Music!  This is a MUST in Your DVD Library!
Bernstein: Fancy Free
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Fancy Free and Other Works by Leonard Bernstein
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