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Boston Pops Orchestra

Boston Pops Orchestra


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Founded in 1885, Boston Pops Orchestra is one of the most popular orchestras in America. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, this offshoot of the Boston Symphony Orchestra plays lighter music and popular classics. Through harmonious concerts, it creates a good mood, full of positive energy.The well-known Pops orchestra was started with the intention of offering concerts of lighter music which was a strong desire of Henry Lee Higginson, the founder of the main orchestra. The first Boston Pops concert, called “Promenade Concerts,” was made up of world-class light music, was held at the Boston Music Hall in July 1885.Until 1930, the orchestra did not have its own official conductor. Under the direction of Keith Lockhart, the orchestra has released several albums.With astounding performers, the orchestra has performed around the world. In addition to outdoor concerts, it offers performances at Symphony Hall.


Boston Symphony Orchestra

The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is an American orchestra based in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the second-oldest of the five major American symphony orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five". [1] Founded by Henry Lee Higginson in 1881, the BSO performs most of its concerts at Boston's Symphony Hall and in the summer performs at Tanglewood.

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Orchestra
Short nameBSO
Founded1881 140 years ago ( 1881 )
LocationBoston, United States
Concert hallSymphony Hall
Tanglewood
Music directorAndris Nelsons
Website www .bso .org

Since its founding, the orchestra has had 17 music directors, including George Henschel, Serge Koussevitzky, Henri Rabaud, Erich Leinsdorf, William Steinberg and James Levine. Andris Nelsons is the current music director of the BSO. Seiji Ozawa has the title of BSO music director laureate. Bernard Haitink has held the title of conductor emeritus of the BSO. The orchestra has made gramophone recordings since 1917 and has occasionally played on soundtrack recordings for films including Schindler's List.


Boston Pops Orchestra - History

In 1972 Leroy Anderson reviewed the musical history of the Boston Pops from his then perspective of 48 years of hearing Boston Pops concerts, including those with Alfredo Cassella, Fiedler's predecesor. He was quick to credit Fiedler for the tremendous growth in the Boston Pops appeal. "Before he arrived, nothing was played that had been written after the turn of the century - it was mostly a matter of Rossini overtures and things of that nature. Fiedler came in and started to play pop tunes. He had a problem getting material, because these things were simply not written for symphony orchestra. But he started varying the programs enormously, playing Gershwin instead, and show tunes. And when I came along with my things, they were exactly what he wanted.

"He went into lighter things - but he also went into heavier material as well. For years, the Pops had never played a full concerto it was regarded as just too long. But now Fiedler insists on it. We were down in Miami Beach a couple of years ago and he scheduled a Mozart piano concerto. The audience sat attentively through the whole thing. In the old days you might have thrown in the first movement of the Grieg concerto, or something like that, but here they were with Mozart."

"Of course, he finished up the whole concert with a Beatles tune, and the Theme from 'Exodus,' and 'The Stars and Stripes Forever,' and the audience really whooped it up then . but they'd loved all of it. It's less that he's made Pops heavier or lighter than that he's stretched it, in all directions. There's this greater variety: when Fiedler gets through, everybody goes home happy, because everybody's found something to enjoy,"

Arthur Fiedler led the orchestra for 50 years and defined its role in popular American culture. Included in that legacy was the start of the Pops' proud and illustrious recording history, the introduction of the orchestra to a nationwide television audience through the PBS series Evening at Pops, and the creation of the orchestra's free outdoor Esplanade Concerts, which took place on the banks of the Charles River. First held in 1929, the free concerts are more popular now than ever the Boston Pops July 4 th celebration in 1998 drew a record crowd of over 500,000 people and it now stands as a national Independence Day tradition.


Boston Pops Orchestra

Banker Henry Lee Higginson established Boston's first full-time resident orchestra. An unprecedented one-million-dollar grant endowed the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which, since its debut on October 22, 1881, has established itself as one of the great orchestras of the world.

In order to give orchestra members summer employment, and to recapture the ambience of the Bilse Orchestra's beer-hall concerts in Berlin where Higginson had been a music student, Higginson established a second BSO season in the spring, played by a reduced orchestra initially called the Music Hall Promenade Orchestra. The "Pops," as it became known informally and later officially, was also an audience hit. The Boston Pops remains, essentially, the Boston Symphony Orchestra minus its first chair players.

In 1930 Arthur Fiedler, a BSO member who had already founded his own orchestra of fellow BSO members and initiated (in 1929) a popular concert series at the outdoors waterfront area called the Esplanade, was engaged as the Pops' full-time conductor. He devised an innovative format comprising three parts: a popular symphony or concerto flanked by lighter music. Fiedler, a flamboyant, camera-loving personality, soon gathered a huge personal following among record-buyers in North America, also making the Pops a household word and one of RCA Red Seal Records' best-selling acts.

In 1969, Boston television station WGBH began televising the Evening with Pops series, making the organization even more of a household word. The live broadcasts of the spectacular Fourth of July concerts on the Esplanade are a regular holiday event for large numbers of American music lovers.

After Fiedler's 50 years at the helm, he was succeeded in 1980 by John Williams, the famous film score composer. Williams' programs, frequently including a composition of his own (for which he was sometimes criticized), altered the content of Pops concerts somewhat, but maintained the tradition of three parts, with the heaviest music in the middle. Following Williams' retirement in 1993, the young conductor and Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Keith Lockhart (the same age as Fiedler when he was appointed), was named Pops maestro in 1995. He returned the orchestra to its previous association with RCA (Williams had recorded on Philips and Sony), and as the twentieth century ended, his engaging personality and handsome good looks were building a personal following similar to Fiedler's.


Boston Pops Orchestra - History

Arthur Fiedler, conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra for 50 years and one of the world&aposs best- known musical figures, died yesterday morning at his home in Brookline Mass. He was 84 years old.

The Pops, under Harry Ellis Dickson, its assistant conductor for 25 years, noted Mr. Fiedler&aposs death last night by beginning its concert in Boston&aposs Symphony Hall with his signature piece, John Phillip Sousa&aposs "Stars and Stripes Forever," played pianissimo. After the first few bars, Mr. Dickson walked away from the podium, leaving the orchestra to play on leaderless.

In the audience, standing throughout the piece, a few persons were seen wiping tears away. At the point in the song when the American flag is unfurled on stage, numerous persons broke into tears, but the audience was mostly solemn. At the end of the march, the audience broke into immediate and spontaneous applause for about half a minute, followed by half a minute of silence. They sat down and the regular program resumed.

For more than half a century, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra were joined in a musical union that, through concerts, recordings, radio broadcasts and television programs, brought untold musical pleasure to millions of Americans.

400,000 at Bicentennial Concert

If one event could be said to sum up the grandfatherly, white-haired conductor&aposs extraordinary popular appeal, it may have been the Bicentennial concert that he led on the Fourth of July in 1976, on Boston&aposs Esplanade. An estimated 400,000 cheering Fiedler admirers crammed themselves into the outdoor area for a free program of patriotic tunes, in what was probably the largest gathering for a musical event in the nation&aposs history.

Mr. Fiedler, who projected a jolly, unsnobbish image, had his finger on the pulse of Mr. and Mrs. Middle America. He seemed always to know exactly how much easy-to-listen-to classical music they could and would take when it was mixed with generous portions of show tunes and other popular music done in lush symphonic arrangements.

Each spring at the end of the Boston Symphony Orchestra&aposs regular season, its staid Symphony Hall was given a cafelike aspect, and Mr. Fiedler filer it with tuneful music that was nearly always upbeat and often frothy.

Because the Boston Pops on its home ground--though not always on tour--was the Boston Symphony minus its major principal players, Mr. Fiedler had first-rate musicians to work with, and for the most part, they seemed to enjoy working with him.

The Boston Pops tradition was already 45 years old when he took over the podium in 1930, but the stamp he put on it was so strong that it has been difficult to think Boston Pops without thinking Fiedler.

His recordings with the Pops for RCA and Polydor are estimated to have sold 50 millions disks, and his recent tours outsold those of the regular Boston Symphony.

Despite his identification for nearly half a century with light music, Mr. Fiedler was neither exclusively nor originally attached to it.

He studied violin--"It was just a chore," he said--as a child and joined the Boston Symphony as a violinist when he was 20 years old. He switched to the viola because, as he explained in later years, he found it more interesting. He was a regular Symphony player until he took over the Pops. Meanwhile, however, he had organized the Arthur Fiedler Sinfonietta, in 1924, and with it had demonstrated his conducting ability.

For decades, he appeared as guest conductor of orchestras all over the country, and when they would let him do so, which was not often, he planned standard symphonic programs for these engagements.

&aposSomething Is Driving Me&apos

His life was a whirlwind of activity, which he explained in 1972 in a New York Times interview with Stephen Rubin by saying, "Something is driving me. . . . I just can&apost sit and twiddle my thumbs."

Mr. Fiedler&aposs activity, success and natural penchant for showmanship and publicity did not endear him to most of the other conductors of the Boston Symphony. And, except for Charles Munch, he had little favorable to say about them. Serge Koussevitzky, music director from 1924 to 1949, was Mr. Fiedler&aposs particular bete noire.

He was aware that many critics and members of the classical-music public shared the other conductors&apos disdain for what he was doing. He called them "culture vultures" and "snobs," and returned their contempt.

Mr. Fiedler was born to Emanuel and Johanna Fiedler in the Back Bay section of Boston on Dec. 17, 1894. The Fiedler family had been musical for generations, and his father, who was born in Poland, had been taken to Boston by Wilhelm Gericke in 1885 to play in the first-violin section of the Boston Symphony.

Young Arthur attended the Prince and Latin Schools until 1910, when his father moved the family first to Vienna and then to Berlin. From 1911 to 1915, Arthur studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where his violin teacher was Willy Hess, who had been a concertmaster of the Boston Symphony. The young man also studied piano and conducting, and made his podium debut at the age of 17 conducting three of Mozart&aposs German Dances and Mendelssohn&aposs Piano Concerto in G minor.

By the time he was 20 he had returned to Boston and became a member of the second-violin section of the Symphony. During his tenure as an orchestra member, he occasionally switched from violin or viola to play celesta, piano or organ. When the conductorship of the Pops was open in 1924, Mr. Fiedler applied for the job but was turned down. It was then that he organized the Fiedler Sinfonietta, composed of Symphony players, and began to prove he had conducting talents.

In 1929, he organized the outdoor Esplanade Concerts in Boston, and when the Pops job opened up again in 1930 he was offered it.

Apart from music, Mr. Fiedler was known best as an avid amateur fireman, and in 1970 he noted that he had been made an honorary fireman in 270 cities: "I&aposve never left a concert to go to a fire, but I have left fires to go to a concert." On his 75th birthday, his family bought him a 1938 pumper from the Marlboro, N.H., Fire Department.

Mr. Fiedler collapsed at his desk at 7 A.M. while going over musical scores and was found shortly afterward by his wife, Ellen, according to Peter Gelb, a spokesman for the orchestra. Mr. Gelb quoted Mr. Fiedler&aposs physician, Dr. Samuel Proger, as saying that the conductor had died apparently of a cardiac arrest.

Mr. Fiedler was hospitalized last winter for treatment of a brain disorder that had left him paralyzed and unable to speak, but he recovered and went on to lead the orchestra in a triumphant 50th anniversary concert in May. A few days later, he collapsed after a concert and was hospitalized with what was diagnosed as a mild heart attack, his fifth. Mr. Fiedler had been recovering at home and was preparing to lead the orchestra again when he was fatally stricken.

Officials of the Pops had been considering candidates to replace Mr. Fiedler for several years, but no formal search had been conducted. Yesterday, the officials said that they had no immediate plans to replace Mr. Fiedler and that Mr. Dickson would take charge until a choice was made.

After having what he described as "a very charming bachelorhood for about 50 years," Mr. Fiedler married Ellen Bottomley, a Boston socialite, in 1942. They had three children, Johanna, Deborah and Peter. Johanna Fiedler is a member of the Metropolitan Opera&aposs press department.

A private funeral, for members of the family, will be held tomorrow. On Sunday, there will be a memorial at the Hatch Shell on the banks of the Charles, a copy of the Bicentennial concert, organized by David Mugar, a Boston businessman and Pops benefactor, and the Boston Symphony.

Exponent of Populist Music

The easiest and perhaps best way to appreciate Arthur Fiedler&aposs accomplishment is to take him on exactly the terms he wished himself to be taken--as a genial, extroverted and vigorous exponent of populism in the realm of classical music. His programming format was simple and invariable- -a few light-classical staples with one longer, more serious work--often a concerto with a promising young local soloist--and ending with pop or novelty tunes arranged for orchestra.

Mr. Fiedler&aposs style with all this music was technically secure, with tempos generally brisk and rubato fairly rigid. It was direct, efficient, no-nonsense conducting, and it often served to purge some of his more bathetic standards of their latent sentimentality.

What annoyed some more serious classical-music devotees--apart from Mr. Fiedler&aposs personality, which could be more acerbic and combative than the public image implied--was the implicit didacticism of his method. Some people feel that to ease neophytes into classical music with light classics amounts to a bastardization.

Mr. Fiedler&aposs defenders would suggest that there are good popularizers and bad popularizers, and that he was a good one. The directness of his style corresponded to the contemporary interpretive fashions in classical music in general. And if his format was a formula, it was also a sign that he knew his own limits and tastes very well.

In the Rafters for 30 Cents

Mr. Fiedler&aposs proselytization had tangible results. For years, he led a summer pops series with the San Francisco Symphony in the old Municipal Auditorium, and teen-agers could sit way up in the cavernous rafters for 30 cents a ticket. Many of us were introduced to much of the orchestral repertory in live performances that way, and it was not a bad introduction.

In his late years, Mr. Fiedler&aposs programming began to look dated. The late-19th-century warhorses at the center of his repertory fell out of fashion, and popular music moved into genres that seemed increasingly resistant to orchestral arrangement. Still, his concerts continued to give pleasure until the end. As much as anything else, Mr. Fiedler was a grand personality of the old school, and it is a good measure of his accomplishment that the Boston Pops will surely find it next to impossible to replace him.


Boston Pops Orchestra

The Boston Pops Orchestra was founded in 1885 as a subsection of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), founded four years earlier. Careful examination of the rosters of “Pops" or “Festival" orchestras, which are associated with a co-resident symphony orchestra in the same community, shows that the principal players of a “Pops" ensemble usually hold the post of assistant or associate principal of the “parent" ensemble. In general parlance, the Boston Pops is described as: “The Boston Symphony minus the first-chair players." This “elite core” of BSO musicians constitute a separate subsection of the BSO, and perform alongside the Pops as the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, a 12-member ensemble founded in 1964. These arrangements, and a similar one with the Tanglewood Festival provide year-round employment for the musicians.

Other cities have founded their own "pops" orchestras, but the Boston Pops remains the most famous and well-known.

History of the Pops

In 1881, Henry Lee Higginson, the founder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, wrote of his wish to present in Boston "concerts of a lighter kind of music." The Boston Pops Orchestra was founded to present this kind of music to the public, with the first concert performed in 1885. Called the "Promenade Concerts" until 1900, these performances combined light classical music, tunes from the current hits of the musical theater, and an occasional novelty number. Allowing for some changes of taste over the course of a century, the early programs were remarkably similar to the Boston Pops programs of today.

The Boston Pops Orchestra did not adopt its own official conductor until 1930, when Arthur Fiedler began a fifty-year tenure as the Pops conductor. Fiedler's career as the conductor of the Pops brought worldwide acclaim to the orchestra. He was unhappy with the reputation of classical music as being solely for elite, aristocratic, upper-class audiences. Fiedler made efforts to bring classical music to wider audiences. He instituted a series of free concerts at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, a riverside public park along the Charles River. Along with his insistence that the Pops Orchestra would play popular music alongside well-known classical pieces, Fiedler opened up a new niche in popular culture that encouraged popularization of classical music. Under his direction, the Boston Pops allegedly made more commercially available recordings than any other orchestra in the world, with total sales of albums, singles, tapes, and cassettes exceeding $50 million. Of the many musical pieces produced over the years, the Pops' most famous and popular work is Fiedler's production of Leroy Anderson's composition "Sleigh Ride".

Fiedler's respectful easy-listening arrangements on Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Play the Beatles, released in 1971, opened many eyes to the musical qualities of Lennon and McCartney.

Fiedler is most widely remembered in Boston for having begun the annual tradition of the Fourth of July Pops concert and fireworks display on the Esplanade, one of the best-attended Independence Day celebrations in the country with regular estimated attendance of 200,000–500,000 people. (This event is organized by Boston's Fourth of July celebration under the leadership of David Mugar.) Also during Fiedler's tenure, the Pops and local public television station WGBH developed a series of weekly televised broadcasts recorded during the Pops' regular season in Symphony Hall, Evening at Pops.

After Fiedler's death in 1979, the conductorship of the Boston Pops was taken over by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams in 1980. Williams continued the Pops' tradition of bringing classical music to a wider audiences, initiating the annual "Pops-on-the-Heights" concerts at Boston College and adding his own considerable library of well-known movie soundtracks (including the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies) to its repertoire.

Keith Lockhart assumed the post of principal Pops conductor in 1995. Lockhart continues to conduct the Boston Pops today, adding a touch of flamboyance and a flair for the dramatic to his performances. Williams remains the Laureate Conductor of the Pops and conducts a week of Pops concerts most years. Lockhart brought in numerous pop-music acts to play with the orchestra, including Rockapella, Guster, My Morning Jacket, Aimee Mann and Elvis Costello.


Boston Pops Orchestra - History


A History of the Orchestra and the Broadcast | Conductors | Guest Artist Archive

History of the EVENING AT POPS Broadcast

One of the longest running programs on PBS, EVENING AT POPS launched shortly after the Public Broadcasting Service began operation in 1969. Hartford Gunn, former managing director of WGBH Boston who became the founding president of PBS, recruited executive producer William Cosel in 1970 to produce 12 programs for the first season of EVENING AT POPS. "The heat was on to include a broad entertainment show, kind of a public television version of a variety show, hosted by a world-class orchestra instead of a pit band," Cosel notes. "We already had a regular taping of EVENING AT POPS for local broadcast, so the skills and preparation for doing the show were well in the works." Conceived as fresh, new programming for summer, the first 12 POPS programs included everyone from country singer Chet Atkins to jazz pianist George Shearing Senator Edward Kennedy narrating Aaron Copland's A Lincoln Portrait to the New York Rock & Roll Ensemble and the cast of Sesame Street.

EVENING AT POPS programs are taped before live audiences in Boston's Symphony Hall during special sessions. Each program is then assembled from elements of the taping sessions and other footage such as film clips or segments taped outside the hall. Planning for the POPS programs often begins years in advance, with ideas developing in conversations between Keith Lockhart, John Williams, and the POPS producers, resulting in sheaves of faxes inviting suitable performers to appear. The "courtship" process may take years, but often results in unforgettable programs, such as the notable POPS collaborations with singers k.d. lang and Mandy Patinkin. "What I love the most is figuring out how to visualize the music," says Cosel, "how to make something out of it in television terms. Our frame is the television screen, not the Symphony Hall proscenium." Coordinating producer Susan Dangel adds that "the POPS enables us to see popular performers in a new context."

Arthur Fiedler conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra for 50 years, including during the first decade of the EVENING AT POPS television series, and shaped the Orchestra's personality. During his tenure, Fiedler and his music librarian pored over the light classical repertoire -- works that rarely find their way onto symphony programs -- and compiled an enormous collection of favorite marches, overtures, suites, symphonies, rhapsodies, Broadway show tunes, and novelty songs that soon became familiar to Pops goers. "We play all kinds of music," Fiedler was fond of saying, "except the boring kind."

John Williams assumed the mantle of conductor in 1980, building on Fiedler's musical foundation by introducing Pops audiences to his own musical favorites, including his compositions for such films as the five Star Wars films, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler's List, and Amistad. "When he joined the Boston Pops Orchestra, the series evolved, and we were much more likely to find contemporary pop and jazz musicians coming to Pops," Cosel observes. Williams began adding new music to the repertoire that had never been there before, much of it from Hollywood and also from the big-band era and the great American songbook.

"In the early days," Cosel says, "the EVENING AT POPS cameras simply recorded whatever was happening at Symphony Hall. In order to get our work done and not disrupt the Pops' revenue, we had to produce during regular concerts, and we had to be very demure about where we put our cameras. The concept of television to Fiedler was exposure the finesse of television was of no interest to him. Because of his film background, John Williams was much more understanding of the process, of the importance of lighting and of making allowances for the television production. With his help, we added a production stage in front of the Orchestra so we could invite people to do shows with us who never could have joined us before."

Current Pops conductor Keith Lockhart lends a renewed sense of energy to the series. "Keith Lockhart is the same age as young, feisty Arthur Fiedler was when he took on the institution in 1930, and they share a sense of showmanship," Cosel observes. "He also brings a sense of today's various music tastes to the Pops. You put anything in front of him, and he can do it. And it's an advantage that he grew up watching EVENING AT POPS." Adds coordinating producer Susan Dangel, "Keith brings an amazing, versatile energy to the Pops. He's willing to try anything, and he has a great capacity to adapt to a variety of styles."

In EVENING AT POPS' history, the series's guest roster has overflowed with performers whom executive producer William Cosel calls "pieces of the rock -- major interpreters of our cultural and musical heritage": jazz singers Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald drummer Buddy Rich dancer Ray Bolger cabaret singer Bobby Short jazz trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis singer Sammy Davis Jr. Broadway stars Carol Channing, Barbara Cook, and Ethel Merman opera stars Roberta Peters, Robert Merrill, Kathleen Battle, and Dawn Upshaw country singers Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins, Loretta Lynn, and Crystal Gayle jazz pianists George Shearing, Dave Brubeck, and Marcus Roberts dancers from Boston Ballet and the Mark Morris Dance Group pop vocal artists John Denver, Bonnie and John Raitt, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, and k.d. lang violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman folk legend Arlo Guthrie director/choreographer Stanley Donen even the French Chef herself, Julia Child and Sesame Street's own Big Bird, to name just a few.

History of the Boston Pops Orchestra

In 1881, Henry Lee Higginson, the founder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, wrote of his wish to present in Boston "concerts of a lighter kind of music." The first Boston Pops concert in 1885 represented the fulfillment of his dream. Called the "Promenade Concerts" until 1900, they combined light classical music, tunes from the current hits of the musical theater, and an occasional novelty number. Allowing for some changes of taste over the course of a century, the early programs were remarkably similar to the Pops programs of today.

The history of the Boston Pops was for many years linked with the name of Arthur Fiedler, who led the orchestra for 50 years and redefined its role in popular American culture. Included in that legacy was the start of the Pops' proud and illustrious recording history, the introduction of the orchestra to a nationwide television audience through the PBS series EVENING AT POPS, and the creation of the orchestra's free outdoor Esplanade Concerts, which took place on the banks of the Charles River. First held in 1929, the free concerts are more popular now than ever: The Boston Pops July 4th celebration in 1998 drew a record crowd of more than 500,000 people, and this year the orchestra will mark the 73th anniversary of the concert, which now stands as a national Independence Day tradition.

Following Fiedler's death in July 1979, Boston Pops associate conductor Harry Ellis Dickson and a number of guest conductors led the orchestra until John Williams was appointed conductor in January 1980. Williams stepped down as conductor in December 1993 and now holds the title of laureate conductor. Keith Lockhart became the 20th conductor of the Boston Pops in February 1995, expanding the orchestra's touring with annual trips prior to the Christmas holiday.


Boston Pops Orchestra - History


EVENING AT POPS has graced PBS for more than 30 years. Read the Biographies of the guest artists for the 2003 season. Or eavesdrop on A Conversation with Keith Lockhart. Or visit the Guest Artist Archive to see who has been part of the Pops lineup through the decades. Then visit the Timeline to learn more about their contributions to Pops history.


History of the EVENING AT POPS Broadcast

One of the longest running programs on PBS, EVENING AT POPS launched shortly after the Public Broadcasting Service began operation in 1969. Hartford Gunn, former managing director of WGBH Boston who became the founding president of PBS, recruited executive producer William Cosel in 1970 to produce 12 programs for the first season of EVENING AT POPS. "The heat was on to include a broad entertainment show, kind of a public television version of a variety show, hosted by a world-class orchestra instead of a pit band," Cosel notes. "We already had a regular taping of EVENING AT POPS for local broadcast, so the skills and preparation for doing the show were well in the works." Conceived as fresh, new programming for summer, the first 12 POPS programs included everyone from country singer Chet Atkins to jazz pianist George Shearing Senator Edward Kennedy narrating Aaron Copland's A Lincoln Portrait to the New York Rock & Roll Ensemble and the cast of Sesame Street.

EVENING AT POPS programs are taped before live audiences in Boston's Symphony Hall during special sessions. Each program is then assembled from elements of the taping sessions and other footage such as film clips or segments taped outside the hall. Planning for the POPS programs often begins years in advance, with ideas developing in conversations between Keith Lockhart, John Williams, and the POPS producers, resulting in sheaves of faxes inviting suitable performers to appear. The "courtship" process may take years, but often results in unforgettable programs, such as the notable POPS collaborations with singers k.d. lang and Mandy Patinkin. "What I love the most is figuring out how to visualize the music," says Cosel, "how to make something out of it in television terms. Our frame is the television screen, not the Symphony Hall proscenium." Coordinating producer Susan Dangel adds that "the POPS enables us to see popular performers in a new context."

Arthur Fiedler conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra for 50 years, including during the first decade of the EVENING AT POPS television series, and shaped the Orchestra's personality. During his tenure, Fiedler and his music librarian pored over the light classical repertoire -- works that rarely find their way onto symphony programs -- and compiled an enormous collection of favorite marches, overtures, suites, symphonies, rhapsodies, Broadway show tunes, and novelty songs that soon became familiar to Pops goers. "We play all kinds of music," Fiedler was fond of saying, "except the boring kind."

John Williams assumed the mantle of conductor in 1980, building on Fiedler's musical foundation by introducing Pops audiences to his own musical favorites, including his compositions for such films as the five Star Wars films, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler's List, and Amistad. "When he joined the Boston Pops Orchestra, the series evolved, and we were much more likely to find contemporary pop and jazz musicians coming to Pops," Cosel observes. Williams began adding new music to the repertoire that had never been there before, much of it from Hollywood and also from the big-band era and the great American songbook.

"In the early days," Cosel says, "the EVENING AT POPS cameras simply recorded whatever was happening at Symphony Hall. In order to get our work done and not disrupt the Pops' revenue, we had to produce during regular concerts, and we had to be very demure about where we put our cameras. The concept of television to Fiedler was exposure the finesse of television was of no interest to him. Because of his film background, John Williams was much more understanding of the process, of the importance of lighting and of making allowances for the television production. With his help, we added a production stage in front of the Orchestra so we could invite people to do shows with us who never could have joined us before."

Current Pops conductor Keith Lockhart lends a renewed sense of energy to the series. "Keith Lockhart is the same age as young, feisty Arthur Fiedler was when he took on the institution in 1930, and they share a sense of showmanship," Cosel observes. "He also brings a sense of today's various music tastes to the Pops. You put anything in front of him, and he can do it. And it's an advantage that he grew up watching EVENING AT POPS." Adds coordinating producer Susan Dangel, "Keith brings an amazing, versatile energy to the Pops. He's willing to try anything, and he has a great capacity to adapt to a variety of styles."

In EVENING AT POPS' history, the series's guest roster has overflowed with performers whom executive producer William Cosel calls "pieces of the rock -- major interpreters of our cultural and musical heritage": jazz singers Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald drummer Buddy Rich dancer Ray Bolger cabaret singer Bobby Short jazz trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis singer Sammy Davis Jr. Broadway stars Carol Channing, Barbara Cook, and Ethel Merman opera stars Roberta Peters, Robert Merrill, Kathleen Battle, and Dawn Upshaw country singers Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins, Loretta Lynn, and Crystal Gayle jazz pianists George Shearing, Dave Brubeck, and Marcus Roberts dancers from Boston Ballet and the Mark Morris Dance Group pop vocal artists John Denver, Bonnie and John Raitt, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, and k.d. lang violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman folk legend Arlo Guthrie director/choreographer Stanley Donen even the French Chef herself, Julia Child and Sesame Street's own Big Bird, to name just a few.


History of the Boston Pops Orchestra

In 1881, Henry Lee Higginson, the founder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, wrote of his wish to present in Boston "concerts of a lighter kind of music." The first Boston Pops concert in 1885 represented the fulfillment of his dream. Called the "Promenade Concerts" until 1900, they combined light classical music, tunes from the current hits of the musical theater, and an occasional novelty number. Allowing for some changes of taste over the course of a century, the early programs were remarkably similar to the Pops programs of today.

The history of the Boston Pops was for many years linked with the name of Arthur Fiedler, who led the orchestra for 50 years and redefined its role in popular American culture. Included in that legacy was the start of the Pops' proud and illustrious recording history, the introduction of the orchestra to a nationwide television audience through the PBS series EVENING AT POPS, and the creation of the orchestra's free outdoor Esplanade Concerts, which took place on the banks of the Charles River. First held in 1929, the free concerts are more popular now than ever: The Boston Pops July 4th celebration in 1998 drew a record crowd of more than 500,000 people, and this year the orchestra will mark the 73th anniversary of the concert, which now stands as a national Independence Day tradition.


75th anniversary : a musical history of the Boston Symphony & Boston Pops

On side 1: Milton Cross, Leslie Rogers, narrators Boston Symphony Orchestra Karl Muck, Serge Koussevitsky, Charles Munch, conductors. On side 2: Milton Cross, Arthur Fiedler, narrators Boston Pops Orchestra Arthur Fiedler, conductor

Romeo and Juliet. Feast of the Capulets / Berlioz -- Symphony no. 4. Finale / Tchaikovsky -- Symphony no. 6 : Pastoral / Beethoven -- Appalachian spring / Copland -- Stars and stripes forever / Sousa -- Minuet in G / Beethoven -- Serenade for strings / Tchaikovsky -- Symphony no. 2 / Sibelius --Symphony no. 8 : Unfinished / Schubert -- Don Quixote / Richard Strauss --Symphony no. 5 / Beethoven -- Rákóczy march / Berlioz -- Jalousie / Gade --Semper fidelis / Sousa -- Morning journals waltz / Johann Strauss, Jr. -- The incredible flutist. Circus parade / Piston -- Irish suite. The rakes of Mallow / Anderson -- Carioca / Youmans -- Old timers night at the Pops. Ta ra ra boomdeay -- Low-tide : based on Ebb-tide / Maxwell -- Largo al factotum / Rossini -- Gaîté parisienne / Offenbach-Rosenthal


Boston Symphony Orchestra

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Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), American symphony orchestra based in Boston, founded in 1881 by Henry Lee Higginson. The orchestra achieved renown for its interpretations of the French repertoire under such conductors as Pierre Monteux and Charles Munch and for its championing of contemporary music. The BSO has made recordings since 1917, performs frequently over radio, gives up to 250 concerts annually, and makes national and world tours.

Its music directors have been George Henschel (1881–84), Wilhelm Gericke (1884–89 1898–1906), Arthur Nikisch (1889–93), Emil Paur (1893–98), Karl Muck (1906–08 1912–18), Max Fiedler (1908–12), Henri Rabaud (1918–19), Pierre Monteux (1919–24), Serge Koussevitzky (1924–49), Charles Munch (1949–62), Erich Leinsdorf (1962–69), William Steinberg (1969–72), Seiji Ozawa (music advisor 1972–73 director 1973–2002), James Levine (2004–11), and Andris Nelsons (2014–). Principal guest conductors included Michael Tilson Thomas (1972–74) and Colin Davis (1972–84). In 1964 Leinsdorf founded the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.

In 1936, under Koussevitzky, the BSO played its first summer concerts at Tanglewood, in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. Founded in 1940 as the Berkshire Music Center, the Tanglewood Music Center became the summer home of the BSO and an institute for advanced training for musicians.

In 1885, under Adolf Neuendorff, musicians of the BSO gave their first “Promenade” concert of lighter classical and popular music in a café setting. From 1900 the ensemble was called the Boston Pops Orchestra. Arthur Fiedler (1930–79) was its longtime conductor. Its 19th conductor, John Williams (1980–93 from 1994, conductor laureate), became artist-in-residence at the Tanglewood Music Center. In 1995 Keith Lockhart became conductor.


Tribute

Among those who recorded the song: the Ray Conniff Singers, the Andrews Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, The Ronettes, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Lawrence Welk, the Partridge Family, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Glen Campbell, Neil Diamond, Garth Brooks, the Squirrel Nut Zippers and REO Speedwagon. Johnny Mathis performed the most popular vocal version.

In 1972, the Boston Pops Orchestra paid tribute to Leroy Anderson in a nationally broadcast concert. He guest conducted one piece during what he called the most important evening of his life.

Leroy Anderson died in 1975. The National Register of Historic Places lists the Leroy Anderson House in Woodbury, Connecticut, where he and his wife lived for many years.

To hear the Boston Pops version of the song, click here. To read more about Arthur Fiedler, click here.


Watch the video: Arthur Fiedler u0026 The Boston Pops Orchestra! 1 Hr. Easy Listening Album 1080p (May 2022).


Comments:

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