Stokowski, Leopold (stəkŏfˈskē) [key], 1882–1977, American conductor, b. London. Stokowski studied in England and at the Paris Conservatory. He was organist and choirmaster at St. Bartholomew's Church, New York City (1905–8), and was conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony (1909–12). As conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra (1912–36) he became known for brilliant interpretation and performance; he introduced unknown contemporary works and, with his own controversial transcriptions, popularized much of Bach's music. Stokowski continued to conduct for part of each season until 1941. In 1940 he organized the All-American Youth Orchestra. He was co-conductor, with Toscanini, of the NBC Symphony Orchestra (1942–43). Stokowski was musical supervisor of Walt Disney's film Fantasia (1940), in which he also appeared. He was conductor of many renowned orchestras for brief periods. Stokowski was influential in the improvement of music-recording techniques. In 1962 he founded the American Symphony Orchestra, New York City, a forum for young performers. His first wife was the pianist and teacher Olga Samaroff.
See his Music for All of Us (1943).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: History, Composers, and Performers: Biographies