Tag Archives: conductor

Hope for the future

Margaret Bourke-White, Shock Brigadier, ca. 1931 (622.1994) From 1930 through 1932 Margaret Bourke-White visited the U.S.S.R. to document the first Five Year Plan, a series of nationwide centralized plans to transition from an agricultural society to an industrial economy. During several trips she took hundreds of … Continue reading

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Great Conductors V: William Steinberg

W. Eugene Smith, Conductor leaning toward violin section, baton gesture, from the Pittsburgh series, 1955–56 After establishing himself as a conductor in Germany, William Steinberg fled the Nazi regime in 1936, emigrating to Palestine and founding the Israel Philharmonic. It … Continue reading

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Great Conductors IV: Arturo Toscanini

Chim (David Seymour), Arturo Toscanini, master conductor and pianist, at the age of 87. In the library case are the death masks of Beethoven, Wagner, and Verdi, Milan, 1954 In a letter proposing a new series to Newsweek magazine, the … Continue reading

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Great Conductors III: Klaus Tennstedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt, Klaus Tennstedt, Conductor, Munich, April 1980 “Unlike earlier titans, he possessed no discernible charisma, nor was he an intellectual (though he was tolerably well-read), or a visionary. Spiritually he was confused, socially a disaster. What set Klaus Tennstedt … Continue reading

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Great Conductors II: Wilhelm Furtwängler

Alfred Eisenstaedt, Wilhelm Furtwängler conducting the Berlin Philharmonic in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Berlin, 1932 Rightly regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the twentieth century, Wilhelm Furtwängler—like his younger contemporary Herbert von Karajan—never escaped the shadow cast over his career … Continue reading

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Great Conductors I: Leonard Bernstein

Weegee, Leonard Bernstein, ca. 1960 Whether lecturing at Harvard, screaming at professional orchestras, or conducting Haydn using only his eyes (3:45), Leonard Bernstein was a showman. While some, most famously Tom Wolfe, excoriated him as a shallow, self-obsessed charlatan, to … Continue reading

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