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Erich Kunzel

The most successful classical/crossover recording artist in chart history, Erich Kunzel rose to fame during his lengthy reign as the conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Educated at Dartmouth, Harvard, and Brown Universities, he studied under French conductor Pierre Montreux, later serving as his personal assistant; in 1965, Kunzel was invited by music director Max Rudolph to join the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, soon taking over their Eight O'Clock Pops series. His affinity for the pops repertoire was immediate, and in 1970 Arthur Fiedler invited him to conduct the Boston Pops; in the years to follow, he returned to Boston annually to assume guest conductor duties, and by the time the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra was officially established in 1977, Kunzel was the obvious choice for conductor.

Becoming a fixture of pops performances, Kunzel subsequently served as regular guest conductor with orchestras all over the country, appearing annually with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival, the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Music Center, the Toronto Symphony, the Minnesota and Detroit Symphonies, and the National Symphony both at the Kennedy Center and on the lawn of the Capitol, returning each year for the nationally televised Memorial Day and Independence Day concerts. Many of Kunzel's recordings with the Cincinnati Pops -- among them The Sound of Music, Victory at Sea and Chiller -- topped Billboard's chart of best-selling classical crossover records; in total, over three dozen of his works made chart appearances, a number unpredecedented for pops recordings. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Miklos Rozsa: Three Choral Suites [Hybrid SACD]

Title: Ben Hur Choral Suite, For Chorus & Orchsetra (arr. Daniel Robbins)
Title: Quo Vadis Choral Suite, For Chorus & Orchestra (arr. Christopher Palmer, Julian Kershaw)
Title: King Of Kings Choral Suite, For Chorus & Orchestra (arr. Daniel Robbins)
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Track List: Epics

Composer: Richard Strauss
Title: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster), Tone Poem For Orchestra, Op. 30 (Trv 176)
Composer: Miklós Rózsa
Title: Ben-hur, Film Score
Composer: Hans Zimmer / Lisa Gerrard
Title: Gladiator, Film Score
Composer: Max Steiner
Title: Gone With The Wind, Film Score
Composer: Tan Dun
Title: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Film Score
Composer: Hans Zimmer (Composer)
Title: Pearl Harbor, Film Score
Composer: Alex North
Title: Spartacus, Film Score
Composer: Maurice Jarre
Title: Lawrence Of Arabia, Film Score
Composer: John Williams (Composer)
Title: Star Wars, Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, Film Score
Composer: Howard Shore
Title: Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring, Film Score
Composer: John Williams (Composer)
Title: Harry Potter And The Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone, Film Score
Composer: Maurice Jarre
Title: Doctor Zhivago, Film Score
Composer: John Williams (Composer)
Title: Minority Report, Film Score
Composer: Elmer Bernstein
Title: The Magnificent Seven, Film Score
x

Track List: American Piano Classics

Composer: Leroy Anderson
Title: Concerto In C, For Piano And Orchestra (or 2 Pianos)
Composer: George Gershwin
Title: Second Rhapsody, For Piano & Orchestra ("Rhapsody In Rivets")
Composer: Louis Moreau Gottschalk
Title: Grande Tarantelle, For Piano & Orchestra, Op. 67, D. 66 (RO 259)
Composer: Scott Joplin
Title: The Entertainer, For Piano
Title: Solace: A Mexican Serenade, For Piano
Title: Maple Leaf Rag, For Piano
Composer: Morton Gould
Title: Interplay (American Concertette No. 1), For Piano & Orchestra
x

Track List: Symphonic Spectacular

Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich
Title: Festive Overture, For Orchestra In A Major, Op. 96
Composer: Richard Wagner
Title: Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Opera, Wwv 86b
Composer: Manuel de Falla
Title: Ritual Fire Dance, For Orchestra (from "El Amor Brujo")
Composer: Georges Bizet
Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 2, From The Incidental Music (Arranged By Ernest Guirard)
Composer: Armas Järnefelt
Title: Praeludium For Piano & Orchestra
Composer: Emmanuel Chabrier
Title: España, Rhapsody For Orchestra, Also Arranged For 2 Pianos
Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Title: Slavonic March, For Orchestra, Op. 31
Composer: Johan Halvorsen
Title: Entry March Of The Boyars (Bojarernes Indtogsmarsch), For Orchestra
Composer: George Enescu
Title: Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1, For Orchestra In A Major, Op. 11/1
Composer: Aram Khachaturian
Title: Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 3

Comments

I saw the Pops many times while I lived in central Ohio, taking the trip to Cincy for the Christmas show he illustriousl y performed with the renowned Cincy Pops. I have many of the Telarc CDs he recorded as conductor (I highly recommend them!). I moved to the south some 10 years ago and promised to make it up there for yet another magical Christmas festival. To my dismay, I discovered he passed away recently. Breaks my heart. He was a rare soul. RIP sir.
Will miss you at the concert.

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