Fiedler, Arthur

Fiedler, Arthur

Fiedler, Arthur, 1894-1979, American conductor, b. Brookline, Mass. Fiedler, who ultimately became a grandfatherly American musical icon, studied violin with his father, a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He continued his musical studies in Berlin (1909-15), becoming a violinist (and later a violist) with the Boston Symphony upon his return to the United States. He founded the Boston Sinfonietta in 1924, and in 1929 inaugurated an enormously popular series of free outdoor summer concerts of light American and European music featuring musicians from the Symphony. The following year Fiedler was appointed conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, with whom he performed classical pieces pleasing to general audiences. During the nearly 50 years that he led the group he also appeared as guest conductor with a number of major American symphonies. His spirited style, lively musicality, and the appealingly informal atmosphere in which he presented his concerts made Fiedler his era's great popularizer of light classical music. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.

See his daughter's biography-autobiography, Arthur Fiedler: Papa, the Pops and Me (1994) by Johanna Fiedler.

(born Dec. 17, 1894, Boston, Mass., U.S.—died July 10, 1979, Brookline, Mass.) U.S. conductor. Son of a distinguished violinist, he was trained in Berlin and joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1915. In the 1920s he began conducting and recording with his own Boston Sinfonietta and various choral groups. In 1929 he organized a series of open-air concerts, which was successful enough to eventually become an institution, the Boston Pops. Thereafter his name was inextricably linked with the Pops, which achieved enormous success under his direction.

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