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FREDERICK FENNELL

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BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS

Description: Conducter, USA

Known For: An internationally recognized conductor,

Music Styles: Classical

Location: OH, United States of America

Date Born: 2nd July 1914
Location Born: Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America

Date Died: 7th December 2004
Location Died: Siesta Key, Florida, United States of America

CONTACT DETAILS
Web Site:  Frederick Fennell interview by Bruce Duffie

Other Links: See below:

YOUTUBE VIDEO

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BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Frederick Fennell

Frederick Fennell (July 2, 1914 – December 7, 2004) was an internationally recognized conductor, and one of the primary figures in promoting the wind ensemble as a performing group. He was also influential as a band pedagogue, and greatly affected the field of music education in the USA and abroad. In Fennell’s The New York Times obituary, colleague Jerry F. Junkin was quoted, saying “He was arguably the most famous band conductor since John Philip Sousa.”

An internationally recognized conductor, and one of the primary figures in promoting the wind ensemble as a performing group.

He was also influential as a band pedagogue, and greatly affected the field of music education in the USA and abroad.

In Fennell’s The New York Times obituary, colleague Jerry F. Junkin was quoted, saying “He was arguably the most famous band conductor since John Philip Sousa.”

Fennell found a compatible and fruitful relationship at the Eastman School of Music. As a student, he organized the first University of Rochester marching band for the football team and held indoor concerts with the band after the football season for ten years.

Fennell became the first person ever to be awarded a degree in percussion performance.

Fennell’s recordings

Conducting the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra and various other groups, Fennell recorded many of the standards of the wind band repertoire. He became one of America’s most-recorded conductors. Starting with “American Concert Band Masterpieces” in 1953, Fennell recorded over 300 compositions on 29 albums for Mercury Records with the Eastman-Rochester “Pops”, London “Pops” (actually the London Symphony Orchestra in shirt-sleeves), and free-lance groups of New York musicians. However, best known are the 22 of the 29 Mercury releases made with Fennell’s own Eastman Wind Ensemble. One of these albums, Lincolnshire Posy, with music by Percy Grainger (recorded in 1958), was selected by Stereo Review magazine as one of the 50 best recordings of the Centenary of the Phonograph 1877-1977. The two- volume Civil War – Its Music and Its Sounds, recorded in December 1960, was a notable set also made with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, this time performing on period or original instruments. In 1961, Fennell received a citation and a medal from the Congressional Committee for the Centennial of the Civil War for this album. In 2003, the 1958 Mercury album Winds in Hi-Fi was chosen by the National Recording Preservation Board for the National Recording Registry.

Nearly all of Fennell’s Mercury recordings were reissued on compact disc. Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble were also featured in the premiere issuance of Mercury material on compact disc. In 1986, 24 Sousa marches performed by the Eastman Wind Ensemble were transferred to compact disc by Philips Records, which now owned the Mercury catalog.

Fennell made the first symphonic digital recording in the United States for Telarc with the Cleveland Symphonic Winds, on April 4–5, 1978. This recording included the two Suites for Military Band by Gustav Holst. With the Dallas Wind Symphony, Fennell recorded five programs of music by Nelhybel, Albeniz, Grainger, Bernstein and more, for Reference Recordings. Fennell also recorded for Brain, Columbia Records, Delos, King, Kosei, Ludwig, Premier Recordings and Sine Qua Non Superba, not to mention the Library of Congress label.

He died in 2004 aged 90.

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