Born: April 8, 1889 - Chester, England
Died: February 22, 1983 - London (or Farnham), England
The eminent English conductor, Sir Adrian (Cedrik) Boult, studied at Westminster School and then at Christ Church, Oxford under Sir Hugh Allen. He completed his training in Leipzig under Max Reger and had the good fortune to watch Arthur Nikisch at work. Back in Britain, he gave concerts at Covent Garden.
In 1919, on request from the composer Gustav Holst, he conducted the first performance of part of the suite The Planets. From 1919 to 1930 he was on the teaching staff of the Royal College of Music, London. He conducted in England and abroad, and in 1924 he took over the directorship of the Birmingham Festival Chorus and the City of Birmingham Symphonic Orchestra (until 1930). In 1926 he became the assistant musical director of Covent Garden. From 1928 to 1931 he conducted the BBC Bach Choir and from 1930 to 1950, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a post which brought him international fame. With his orchestra, he visited Vienna (1933), Boston and Salzburg (1935) and New York (1938 and 1939). From 1942 to 1950 he was the deputy director of the London 'Proms'. In 1936 he conducted during the coronation of George VI. From 1950 he was the director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1957 he resigned this post, and after that he only worked as a guest conductor. In 1968 he conducted Edward Elgar's The dream of Gerontius for television in Canterbury Cathedral. From 1959 he again directed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He taught at the Royal College of Music from 1962 to 1966. In 1979 he stopped conducting.
Sir Adrian Boult was a prominent figure of English musical life and an advocate of English music at home and abroad. Ralph Vaughan Williams' Job, a masque of dancing, Herbert Howells' Concert for strings and Malcolm Williamson's Concert for organ and orchestra were dedicated to him. He conducted the following first performances: Music for strings (1935) and Concert for piano and orchestra (1939) by Arthur Bliss, A pastoral Symphony (1922) and Symphonies No. 4 and 6 (1935 and 1948) by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Trauermusik (1936) by Paul Hindemith.
Alfredo Campoli was born in Rome in 1906, both his parents being professional musicians. In 1911 the family moved to London, where Campoli was taught by his father, and by the time of his Wigmore Hall début in 1923, he was already secure in 11 major concertos. Although he subsequently toured with Melba and Clara Butt, Campoli turned his attention to light music, and during the 1930s became a household name for his many recordings and broadcasts, especially with his Salon Orchestra. Usually billed only under his surname, he also maintained a concert career, and played Paganini's Concerto in D (arranged by Kreisler) at a Promenade Concert in 1937. After the Second World War he returned to the "serious” classics, and soon established an international reputation. He made his American début at Carnegie Hall in 1953 and visited Russia twice in 1956, on the second occasion with the LPO. Campoli's large repertoire, and included the major Classical and Romantic works as well as works by Moeran, Ireland, Bax and Walton; in 1955 he gave the first performance of Bliss's Violin Concerto, which was written for him. His extraordinary beauty of tone and phrasing, often likened to bel canto singing, was combined with an impeccable technique and an eloquently expressive approach to interpretation. A larger-than-life figure, keen on tennis and bridge and usually sporting a large cigar, Campoli recorded for Decca for over 40 years. He died in 1991 at his home in Berkshire, England. Alfredo Campoli performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto over 900 times during his career as a soloist. This 1949 recording with the London Philharmonic conducted by Eduard van Beinum is coupled with his 1954 recording of the Elgar Violin Concerto under the baton of Sir Adrian Boult. It is available in all good record stores or direct from Beulah. Beulah are offering their two Campoli discs for the price of one Rob Cowan in Gramophone for February 2006 writes:The reappearance of the Beulah label brings with it a number of old friends, none more welcome than Alfredo Campoli's consistently sympathetic 1954 account of Elgar's Violin Concerto with the London Philharmonic under Sir Adrian Boult. You might say that Campoli's urbane and warmly felt account is the nearest thing we have to a Kreisler Elgar Concerto. The coupling is equally valuable: Campoli, the LPO and Eduard van Beinum in the Mendelssohn Concerto, a nicely transferred 1949 recording impressive as much for van Beinum's incisive conducting as for the smiling demeanor of Campoli's interpretation.Jonathan Woolf at Music Web International writes that Campoli has withstood the ravages of time, technological advance and successive critical judgements with lasting assurance.
Mendelssohn: Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64
Alfredo Campoli, violin
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult