Beecham, Thomas (Sir)

Beecham, Thomas (Sir)

Sir Thomas Beecham, Bt, CH (29 April 1879 – 8 March 1961) was an English conductor and impresario best known for his association with the London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic orchestras. He was also closely associated with the Liverpool Philharmonic and Hallé orchestras. From the early 20th century until his death, Beecham was a major influence on the musical life of Britain and, according to the BBC, was Britain’s first international conductor. Born to a rich industrial family, Beecham began his career as a conductor in 1899. He used his access to the family fortune to finance opera from the 1910s until the start of the Second World War, staging seasons at Covent Garden, Drury Lane and His Majesty’s Theatre with international stars, his own orchestra and a wide repertoire. Among the works he introduced to England were Richard Strauss’s Elektra, Salome and Der Rosenkavalier and three operas by Frederick Delius. Together with his younger colleague Malcolm Sargent, Beecham founded the London Philharmonic, and he conducted its first performance at the Queen’s Hall in 1932.

  • Sir Thomas Beecham (Richard Itter Collection Vol.2)

    Sale! MP3 Album: £2.50
    Live BBC recordings from the 1950s with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra.
  • BBC Legends Vol. 2

    Sale! MP3 Album: £7.50
    ICA Classics are proud to release a second volume of the best selling BBC Legends box, featuring 20 CDs of some of the greatest artists of the 20th Century. Volume 1 was released in 2013 and comprised 20 CDs taken from the award winning BBC Legends catalogue (unavailable since 2010). Here is the follow-up with a further 20 CDs. The artists include Arturo Toscanini, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Kirsten Flagstad, Victoria de los Angeles, Sir Thomas Beecham, Carlo Maria Giulini, Igor Stravinsky, Pierre Monteux, Yehudi Menuhin, Andres Segovia, Dame Myra Hess, Nathan Milstein, Walter Gieseking, Arthur Rubinstein, Geza Anda, Claudio Arrau, Eduard van Beinum, Sir William Walton, Pierre Fournier, Benjamin Britten and the Borodin Quartet. Contains interviews/memories of Kirsten Flagstad and Carlo Maria Giulini.
  • BBC Legends Limited Edition Box Set (20 CDs)

    BBC Legends Vol.1

    Sale! MP3 Album: £7.50
    This 20 CD box set brings together some of the greatest performances taken from the BBC archives which were featured in the best-selling series BBC Legends, launched in 1998. The collection features classic recordings by stellar artists including Mstislav Rostropovich, Arturo Toscanini, Emil Gilels, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Sir Thomas Beecham, Dennis Brain, Evgeny Mravinsky, David Oistrakh and Sviatoslav Richter.

Sir Thomas Beecham, Bt, CH (29 April 1879 – 8 March 1961) was an English conductor and impresario best known for his association with the London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic orchestras. He was also closely associated with the Liverpool Philharmonic and Hallé orchestras. From the early 20th century until his death, Beecham was a major influence on the musical life of Britain and, according to the BBC, was Britain’s first international conductor. Born to a rich industrial family, Beecham began his career as a conductor in 1899. He used his access to the family fortune to finance opera from the 1910s until the start of the Second World War, staging seasons at Covent Garden, Drury Lane and His Majesty’s Theatre with international stars, his own orchestra and a wide repertoire. Among the works he introduced to England were Richard Strauss’s Elektra, Salome and Der Rosenkavalier and three operas by Frederick Delius. Together with his younger colleague Malcolm Sargent, Beecham founded the London Philharmonic, and he conducted its first performance at the Queen’s Hall in 1932.