Arthur Fiedler: Papa, the Pops and Me

Arthur Fiedler: Papa, the Pops and Me

by Johanna Fiedler
     
 

Johanna Fiedler tells the story of one of America's most popular and beloved musicians: her father, Arthur Fiedler. A gifted young man who rose from his position as a violist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra to become the leader of the Boston Pops, Arthur Fiedler brought more people to classical music than any musician ever had - in concerts, on million-copy-selling… See more details below

Overview

Johanna Fiedler tells the story of one of America's most popular and beloved musicians: her father, Arthur Fiedler. A gifted young man who rose from his position as a violist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra to become the leader of the Boston Pops, Arthur Fiedler brought more people to classical music than any musician ever had - in concerts, on million-copy-selling recordings, and in the award-winning PBS television program "Evening at Pops." Johanna Fiedler poignantly and faithfully captures what it was like to grow up the daughter of this famous musician: the fun of being backstage during uproarious rehearsal sessions; the thrill of opening night at the Pops; the unreal quality of lives spent in the public eye; the sorrow of a family fractured by unhappiness and alcohol.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The oldest daughter of the founder/conductor of the long-lived and immensely popular Boston Pops concerts has written a memoir that is at once touching and appallingly frank. For Arthur Fiedler (1894-1979), despite his dashing, twinkly appearance and bluff, avuncular persona, was a very difficult man. He lived for his music, the constant touring and national acclaim-more akin to that granted to a pop singer than an orchestra conductor-but at home was depressed, irritable, censorious. He and his wife both drank heavily, she eventually to her death, and family occasions among the Fiedlers-the author has a younger sister and brother-were the very model of dysfunctionalism. But the interest in the book is clearly centered on the very strange career of the author's lionized father. Beginning as a viola player in the Boston Symphony, he pioneered concerts of light classics at the end of the 1920s. These became institutions in Boston, then through radio, recordings and ultimately TV, became internationally famous. Fiedler, presenting undemanding programs, including skillful arrangements of popular and movie music, beautifully played by crack musicians, introduced more Americans to ``classical'' music than any other performer. Although he always yearned to be taken seriously as a musician, his adoring public would have none of it and even the BSO, whose coffers Fielder greatly enriched, was sniffy toward his pops concerts-amazingly, he received no pay raise in 40 years. He will be remembered as a solid musician ever capable of sprightly, effective performances, but one worshipped out of all proportion to his accomplishments. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Booknews
Arthur Fiedler's daughter writes a personal memoir of her father, world-famous musician and conductor of the Boston Pops who died in 1979. The story chronicles her family life in detail, describing what it was like to grow up in an unhappy family as the daughter of this curmudgeonly, complex, and sometimes cruel man, as well as deftly rendering the typically East Coast social milieu of metropolitan Boston during the 1950s and 60s. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385423915
Publisher:
The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/01/1994
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
272

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