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Kostelanetz, Andrélocked

  • Bernard Jacobson

(b St Petersburg, Dec 22, 1901; d Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan 13, 1980). American conductor and arranger of Russian birth. He studied at the conservatory in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) from 1920 to 1922, when he went to the USA; he became an American citizen in 1928. In 1930 he was engaged as conductor for the CBS radio network, beginning the association with broadcasting and film work, and with the popularizing of classical music, for which he principally became known, in performances of lively and robust style. During World War II he conducted many concerts for the US armed forces. Also a successful guest conductor elsewhere, and principal conductor of the New York PO’s promenade concerts, he made a valuable contribution to musical life by commissioning works by Copland (Lincoln Portrait), Schuman, Hovhaness and other contemporary composers. He is the dedicatee of Walton’s Capriccio burlesco, of which he conducted the première by the New York PO in 1968. Kostelanetz’s successful arrangements of light music, using densely concentrated instrumental sonorities and rich, saturated harmonies, influenced film music of the time. Together with G. Hammond he wrote Echoes: Memoirs of André Kostelanetz (New York, 1981).