(Russian: Андрей Костеланец, December 22
, St. Petersburg, Russia
- January 13
) was a popular orchestral music conductor
and arranger, one of the pioneers of easy listening music
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Kostelanetz escaped from the Bolshevik-Communist state in 1922 after the Russian Revolution. He arrived in the United States that year, and in the 1920s, conducted concerts for radio. In the 1930s, he began his own weekly show on CBS, André Kostelanetz Presents.
Kostelanetz was known for arranging and recording light classical music pieces for mass audiences, as well as orchestral versions of songs and Broadway show tunes. He made numerous recordings over the course of his career, which had sales of over 50 million and became staples of Beautiful Music radio stations. For many years, Kostelanetz also conducted the New York Philharmonic in pops concerts and recordings, in which they were billed as "Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra".
Kostelanetz is best known to modern audiences for a series of easy listening instrumental albums on Columbia Records from the 1940s until 1980. Kostelanetz actually started making this music before there was a genre called "easy listening", and he continued until after some of his contemporaries, including Mantovani, had stopped recording.
Outside America, one of his best known works was an orchestral arrangement of the tune "With a Song in my Heart", which was the signature tune of a long-running BBC radio program, at first called Forces Favourites, then Family Favourites, and finally Two Way Family Favourites.
Toward the end of his recording career, his name was more of a brand than a true representation of who actually made the music, because nearly all of his output in the 1970s was arranged by others. Some of the arrangers credited on 1970s Kostelanetz albums include Teo Macero, Torrie Zito, Hank Levy, Luther Henderson, Jack Cortner, Eddie Sauter, Claus Ogerman, Jack Pleis, Tommy Newsom, Harold Wheeler, Bobby Scott, Homer Dennison, James Tyler, Jr., Byron Olson, Dale Oehler, Ben Lanzarone, LaMont Johnson, Wade Marcus, Patrick Williams, Sammy Nestico, Warren Vincent, Dick Hyman, Jorge Calandrelli, James J. Wisner, Al Capps and Don Sebesky.
Kostelanetz's last concert was "A Night in Old Vienna" concert with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in the War Memorial Opera House on December 31, 1979.
He died in Haiti on 13 January 1980.
He was the second husband of the soprano Lily Pons.
- The Music of VICTOR HERBERT Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra, Columbia Masterworks M-415
- Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, 1956, Columbia Long Playing CL 730
- Music Of Irving Berlin, 1950, Columbia Masterworks 4314
- Music Of Cole Porter, 1951, Columbia Masterworks 2014
- Music Of George Gershwin, 1951, Columbia Masterworks 2026
- Black Magic, 1955, Columbia CL 712
- Music Of Vincent Youmans, 1955, Columbia CL 734
- VERDI: AIDA, 1956, Columbia CL 755
- Music of Fritz Kreisler, Music of Sigmund Romberg, 1955, Columbia CL 771
- You And The Night And The Music, 1956, Columbia CL 772
- Music Of Jerome Kern, 1956, Columbia CL 776
- Stardust, 1956, Columbia CL 781
- Kostelanetz conducts..., Columbia CL 786
- Broadway Spectacular, 1957, Columbia CL 865
- Tender Is The Night, 1957, Columbia CL 886
- The Romantic Music Of Rachmaninoff, 1957, Columbia CL 1001
- The Columbia Album Of Richard Rodgers, 1958, Columbia CL 1140
- Joy To The World, 1960, Harmony 11232
- Music From Flower Drum Song, 1960, Columbia CL 1280
- Nutcracker Suite, 1961, Columbia Masterworks 6264
- The New Wonderland Of Sound, 1961, Columbia 8457
- Star Spangled Marches, 1962, Columbia CL 1718
- Broadway's Greatest Hits, 1962, Columbia CL 1827
- Music From "Mr. President", 1962, Columbia CL 1921
- Wonderland Of Golden Hits, 1963, Columbia 8839
- I Wish You Love, 1964, Columbia CL 2185
- The Romantic Strings Of Andre Kostelanetz, Columbia Masterworks 6711
- Romantic Waltzes By Tchaikovsky, Columbia Masterworks 6824
- Today's Golden Hits, 1966, Columbia 9334
- The Shadow Of Your Smile, 1966, Columbia 13285
- The Kostelanetz Sound Of Today, 1967, Columbia 9409
- Scarborough Fair, 1968, Columbia 9623
- For The Young At Heart, 1968, Columbia 9691
- Traces, 1969, Columbia 13282
- Greatest Hits Of The '60s, 1970, Columbia 9973
- I'll Never Fall In Love Again, 1970, Columbia 9998
- Wonderland Of Christmas, Columbia 10086
- Everything Is Beautiful, 1970, Columbia 30037
- Sunset, 1970, Columbia Masterworks 30075
- Love Story, 1971, Columbia 30501
- For All We Know, 1971, Columbia 30672
- Plays Chicago, 1971, Columbia 31002
- Plays Cole Porter, 1972, Columbia 31491
- Love Theme From "The Godfather", 1972, Harmony 31500
- Last Tango In Paris, 1973, Columbia 32187
- Moon River, 1973, Columbia 32243
- Plays Great Hits Of Today, 1973, Columbia 32415
- The Way We Were, 1974, Columbia 32578
- Plays Michel Legrand's Greatest Hits, 1974, Columbia 32580
- Musical Reflections Of Broadway And Hollywood, 1974, Columbia 33061
- Plays "Murder On The Orient Express", 1975, Columbia 33437
- Never Can Say Goodbye, 1975, Col 33550
- I'm Easy, 1976, Columbia 34157
- Dance With Me, 1976, Columbia 34352
- Plays Broadway's Greatest Hits, 1977, Columbia 34864
- You Light Up My Life, 1978, Columbia 35328
- Theme From "Superman", 1979, Columbia 35781
- ''Various Themes, 1980, Columbia 36382
- Kostelanetz, André, with Gloria Hammond, Echoes: Memoirs of Andre Kostelanetz. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981. 247 pp. ISBN 0151273928.