Barenboim’s parents were both pianists, and his father, Enrique Barenboim, was also a noted music professor. The family moved from Argentina to Salzburg, Austria, when Daniel was nine and then on to Israel in 1952. Barenboim had already debuted as a pianist at age seven, and in Europe he became known as something of a child prodigy. He made his debut in London (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) in 1956 and in the United States (at Carnegie Hall) in 1957… Barenboim started conducting professionally in 1962, first in Israel and then in Australia with the Melbourne and Sydney symphony orchestras. He thereafter was guest conductor in several cities in European countries as well as in Israel and the United States. He served as music director of the Orchestre de Paris from 1975 to 1989. In 1987 he signed to become musical and artistic director of the new Bastille Opera in Paris, but he fell into disputes with representatives of the socialist government in Paris and was dismissed (in January 1989) before the first season was to commence, in 1990. Almost immediately, in January 1989, he accepted the post of music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in succession to Sir Georg Solti. FROM http://www.britannica.com/biography/Daniel-Barenboim
In 1999, together with the late Palestinian-born writer and Columbia University professor Edward Said, Barenboim founded the West-Eastern Divan workshop and orchestra, bringing together talented young musicians from the Arab countries of the Middle East, Israel and Spain to make music under the guidance of some of the world’s finest musicians, enabling dialogue between the various cultures of the Middle East. Musicians of the Berlin Staatskapelle have participated as teachers in the project since its inception. In summer 2005, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra presented a concert of historic significance in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, which was telecast and recorded for DVD. Since then, Barenboim and the orchestra have toured extensively, including appearances at the festivals in Lucerne and Salzburg, the BBC Proms in London and making a debut in the United Arab Emirates. In June 2015 Barenboim celebrated the imminent opening of the future home of the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, an educational institution that will expand upon the vision of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Barenboim also initiated a project for music education in the Palestinian territories, which includes a music kindergarten as well as a youth orchestra. FROM https://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/artists/daniel_barenboim/biography
On this date in 1895, William Grant Still was born. He was an African American musician and composer.
Still was the first African American to conduct a major symphony orchestra, the first African-American to have an opera, “Troubled Island” (1949) performed by a major opera company, and the first to have an opera, “A Bayou Legend,” performed on national television (1981).
Born: June 7, 1897 – Budapest, Hungary
Died: July 30, 1970 – Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Part of the wave of great Hungarian conductors who took over American musical life just before and after World War II — the others included Fritz Reiner, Antal Dorati, and Eugene Ormandy — George Szell quickly transformed a middling Midwestern orchestra into one of the nation’s Big Five. His cultivation of the Cleveland Orchestra set an example of discipline and hard work that gradually helped raise the standards of orchestras across America. FROM https://www.allmusic.com/artist/george-szell-mn0000366341/biography
This great conductor was born on 18 April 1882 and died on 13 September 1977…Stokowski began his conducting career at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1909, at the young age of 27….After a few years in Cincinnati, however, Stokowski moved on to the Philadelphia Orchestra and molded it into one of the finest orchestras in the world. In fact, Rachmaninoff claimed that the Philadelphia WAS the finest orchestra in the world. FROM http://www.classical.net/music/guide/society/lssa/stokybio.php
Stokowski arrived in Los Angeles January 2, 1938 to record the Sorcerer’s Apprentice with a hand-picked orchestra of 85 Hollywood session musicians…Disney had decided that The Sorcerer’s Apprentice short film needed to be expanded to a full-length movie, in order to be financially viable. Fantasia was issued in 1941 and 1942, and was released again many times over the years, and continues even today to play in some theaters. FROM http://www.stokowski.org/1939_1940_Electrical_Recordings_Stokowski.htm
Leopold Stokowski was a frequent visitor to the [New York] Philharmonic over the years, appearing with the Orchestra on nearly 200 occasions…In his last appearance with the Philharmonic, on February 8, 1969, he led a program of music by Bach and two modern works inspired by him: Lukas Foss’s Phorion, and Rock Variations and Fantasy on a Brandenburg Concerto, written and performed by the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble. FROM https://nyphil.org/about-us/artists/leopold-stokowski
Perhaps the most internationally famous conductor ever, Toscanini rose to instant stardom when he put down his cello and jumped up to the podium to fill in for the conductor during a performance of Verdi’s opera Aida. It was 1886; he was 19, and it was the first time he’d ever conducted.