Leinsdorf, Erich

Erich Leinsdorf (born Erich Landauer) (February 4, 1912 – September 11, 1993) was an Austrian-born American conductor. He performed and recorded with leading orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and Europe, earning a reputation for exacting standards as well as an acerbic personality. He also published books and essays on musical matters. Leinsdorf was the principal conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1947 to 1955. He came to despair of what he saw as Rochester’s insular musical culture, famously remarking that “Rochester is the best disguised dead end in the world!” Subsequently he was briefly head of the New York City Opera. In 1962 he was named music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His time in Boston would produce many recordings for RCA, but was also marked by controversy, as he occasionally clashed with musicians and administrators. More than once Leinsdorf’s performances were interrupted by historical events. On November 22, 1963, during a performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he delivered the shocking news of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

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Erich Leinsdorf (born Erich Landauer) (February 4, 1912 – September 11, 1993) was an Austrian-born American conductor. He performed and recorded with leading orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and Europe, earning a reputation for exacting standards as well as an acerbic personality. He also published books and essays on musical matters. Leinsdorf was the principal conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1947 to 1955. He came to despair of what he saw as Rochester’s insular musical culture, famously remarking that “Rochester is the best disguised dead end in the world!” Subsequently he was briefly head of the New York City Opera. In 1962 he was named music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His time in Boston would produce many recordings for RCA, but was also marked by controversy, as he occasionally clashed with musicians and administrators. More than once Leinsdorf’s performances were interrupted by historical events. On November 22, 1963, during a performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he delivered the shocking news of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

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