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Music Features

Iconic Conductor Leopold Stokowski

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Leopold Stokowski (April 18, 1882 – September 13, 1977)

Philadelphia Orchestra audiences were reminded of what Leopold Stokowski's celebrated hands wrought when, earlier this year, Music Director Designate Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducted a four-concert Stokowski tribute at the theater where it all started a century ago - The Academy of Music.

The Philadelphia Orchestra's music director from 1912 to 1941 made mainstream feature films, shook hands with Mickey Mouse in the Walt Disney film Fantasia, was referenced in the song "Conga" from the Broadway show Wonderful Town, bringing - for the time - some serious glamor to Philadelphia.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns discovered, Leopold Stokowski  remains almost as mysterious, complex, and hard to explain today as he was when he was alive.