28 Facts About Arthur Fiedler


Arthur Fiedler was an American conductor known for his association with both the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras.


Arthur Fiedler was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Johanna and Emanuel Arthur Fiedler.


Arthur Fiedler's father was a violinist who played in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and his mother was a pianist.


Arthur Fiedler grew up in Boston, and attended Boston Latin School until his father retired in the early 1900s, and they moved to Vienna, Austria, in 1910.


The family soon moved again, to Berlin, where from 1911 to 1915 young Arthur Fiedler studied violin at the Royal Academy of Music under Willy Hess.


In 1924, Arthur Fiedler formed the Boston Sinfonietta, a chamber music orchestra composed of Boston Symphony members, and started a series of free outdoor concerts.


Arthur Fiedler was appointed the eighteenth conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1930.


Arthur Fiedler's recordings began in July 1935 at Boston's Symphony Hall with RCA Victor, including a world premiere recording of Jacob Gade's "Jalousie", which eventually sold more than a million copies, and the first complete recording of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin.


Arthur Fiedler recorded the same music in 1954 in stereo and began making regular stereo recordings in 1956.


Besides recording light classics, Arthur Fiedler recorded music from Broadway shows and Hollywood film scores, as well as arrangements of popular music, especially the Beatles.


Arthur Fiedler made but a single recording with the Boston Symphony Orchestra: Dvorak's New World Symphony.


Arthur Fiedler was associated with the San Francisco Pops Orchestra for 26 summers, and conducted many other orchestras throughout the world.


Arthur Fiedler was a featured conductor on several of NBC's The Standard Hour programs in 1950 and 1951, conducting the San Francisco Symphony in the War Memorial Opera House; the performances were preserved on transcription discs and later released on audio cassette.


In very rare visiting performances, Arthur Fiedler accepted the invitation to conduct Don Caneva's John Hersey High School Bands after reviewing their latest recordings.


Arthur Fiedler conducted Leroy Anderson's "Serenata" with the high school band.


Arthur Fiedler was fascinated by the work of firefighters and would travel in his own vehicle to large fires in and around Boston at any time of the day or night to watch the firefighters at work.


Arthur Fiedler was even made an "Honorary Captain" in the Boston Fire Department.


Arthur Fiedler conducted at the nationally televised opening ceremonies of Walt Disney World in 1971.


Arthur Fiedler appeared on numerous telecasts on Evening at Pops, carried on PBS stations nationwide.


In 1972, Arthur Fiedler was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.


Arthur Fiedler is best remembered by contemporary audiences for his conducting of the Boston Pops at the outdoor Hatch Memorial Shell on the July 4,1976, celebration of the US Bicentennial.


The rendition of the 1812 Overture led by a jacketless and demonstrative Arthur Fiedler, capped by a huge fireworks finale over the Charles River was the climax of all day long network television coverage.


The video of the aged but obviously delighted Arthur Fiedler puffing out his cheeks to the beat of the music and mugging for his musicians was one of the most talked about images of the country's celebration.


On January 10,1977, Arthur Fiedler was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Gerald Ford.


In 1942, Arthur Fiedler married Ellen Bottomley, and they had three children: Johanna, Deborah, and Peter.


In December 1978, Arthur Fiedler underwent brain surgery at Tufts Medical Center after suffering congestive heart failure.


Arthur Fiedler recovered two weeks after celebrating his 84th birthday.


Arthur Fiedler made a valedictory appearance on May 5,1979, with James Galway as a flute soloist.