Friday, December 17, 2010

Adrian Boult - A Great Conductor

Adrian Boult was born on April 8, 1889, to Cedric and Katharine Boult in Chester, England. Throughout his schoolboy days, he often went to concerts of the great musicians of his time. These concerts would have a great impact on him as he was able to watch some of the greatest conductors in the world, at that time, lead their orchestras in music. Boult went to Christ Church college at Oxford where he was an undergraduate in history and then in music.

After Christ Church, he went on to study music at the Leipzig Conservatory. The conductors there were greatly observed by Boult. He learned many things from these men which he would be able to apply to his own conducting. He became a professional conductor in 1914, and made his debut with a few members of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He began conducting for some of the major British orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra. He helped many composers of the time by conducting their works for them. I did not realize what a large impact the conductor has on the orchestra.

Boult quickly became a leading conductor and was very popular amongst the orchestras. He became the director of music at the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and remained there for several years. These years were some of the greatest for the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Unfortunately, during WWII the orchestra lost forty players to active service or for other reasons. Boult stepped down so that the composer Arthur Bliss could take the position. He was quickly offered a job by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which he accepted. Boult loved music and he loved conducting. He was not picky about the composers that he conducted music for. During his time working for the LPO, he traveled to many different countries on tour and made several recordings. In 1959, he stepped down from his position and became LPO’s president and was a guest conductor until he retired. Stepping Down gave him more freedom to record and conduct when and where he wanted to. He died at the age of 93, on February 22, 1983.

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