Arthur Fiedler; Boston Pops Orchestra


Arthur Fiedler (December 17, 1894 – July 10, 1979) was the long-time conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, a symphony orchestra that specialized in popular music. With a combination of musicianship and showmanship, he made the Pops the best-known orchestra in the country. Some criticized him for watering down music, particularly when adapting popular songs or edited portions of the classical repertoire, but Fiedler deliberately kept performances informal, light, and often self-mocking to attract more listeners. Fiedler was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was an Austrian-born violinist who played in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and his mother was a pianist and musician. He grew up in Boston, and attended Boston Latin School until his father retired and returned to Austria, where he studied and worked until returning to Boston at the start of World War I. In 1909, his father took him to Berlin to study violin with Willy Hess, and then in 1915 he joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Karl Muck as a violinist. He also worked as a pianist, organist, and percussionist. In 1924, Fiedler formed the Boston Sinfonietta, a chamber music orchestra made up of Boston Symphony members, and started a series of free outdoor concerts. He was appointed the eighteenth conductor of the Boston Pops in 1930. While conducting of the Pops both prior to and after Fiedler tended to be a segment of a conductor's career, Fiedler made the Pops his life's work, holding the position f...

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