Sir John Barbirolli

Sir John Barbirolli

London, City of London, Greater London, England
Death 29 Jul 1970 (aged 70)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England
Plot Grave no. 251 NE
Memorial ID 19185 · View Source
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Orchestra Conductor. Born Giovanni Battista Barbirolli in London, he made his solo debut as a cellist at age 11 and joined the Queens Hall orchestra - one of London's finest at that time - in 1915. He succeeded Arturo Toscanini as conductor of the New York Philharmonic in 1937, and married the oboist Evelyn Rothwell in 1939. Despite war-time difficulties, he elected to return to England at the height of the war in 1943, to conduct - and rescue - the failing Halle Orchestra of Manchester. He conducted this orchestra for 27 years and raised it back to international standard. He was one of the "discoverers" of the Jacqueline du Pre and was the conductor for her definitive recorded performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto. It was his close friend, the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams who called him "Glorious John." He also was a close friend of Sir Edward Elgar in his later years and his recordings are still fimly within the recording catalogue. There are many music lovers who regard Barbirolli as the greatest conductor of Elgar. (His biographer, Michael Kennedy wrote that he was "one of the most lovable and fascinating musicians of the 20th century".) Sir John Barbirolli died in London, from a heart attack following a fight with cancer. He was cremated and his ashes buried in his parents grave at Kensal Green Catholic Cemetery.

Bio by: Ernest Blamires

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 26 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19185
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sir John Barbirolli (2 Dec 1899–29 Jul 1970), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19185, citing St Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .