Theodore Thomas: America's Conductor and Builder of Orchestras, 1835-1905

Ezra Schabas, Author, Valerie Solti, Foreword by University of Illinois Press $29.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-252-01610-3
The author traces the career and achievements of the imperious conductor with unlimited energy and ego whose ideas permeated American musical life during the late 19th century. Like the men of his time who built this country's industries and cities, Thomas built orchestras. Tireless in his efforts to develop audiences for good music and introduce them to the works of new composers, including Wagner, Berlioz and Liszt, he led the New York Philharmonic and his own Theodore Thomas Orchestra in hundreds of concerts across the continent. His crowning achievements were the founding of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and its home, Orchestra Hall. Schabas, professor emeritus of music at the University of Toronto, gives a lucid treatment of the accomplishments of this domineering man with a towering personality who was always the center of controversy and whose influence on American orchestras is still felt today. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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