Orchestra Conductor. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of a violinist father and a pianist mother, in 1909, his father took him to Berlin, Germany to study violin with Willy Hess. Fiedler also studied chamber music with Ernst von Dohnányi at the Royal Academy in Berlin. He returned to the United States in 1915 and joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as second violin under conductor Karl Muck. In 1924, he formed the Boston Sinfonietta, a chamber music orchestra. He later organized a series of free outdoor summer concerts at the Esplanade on the Charles River in Boston. In 1930, Fiedler was appointed the eighteenth conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Fiedler deliberately kept performances informal and light and made the Pops the best-known orchestra in the country. Under Fiedler’s direction, the Boston Pops made more recordings than any other orchestra in the world. During his long tenure at the head of the Pops, sales of albums recorded by them exceeded $50 million. His unique style, musicality, and the appealingly informality in which he presented his concerts made Fiedler a great popularizer of classical music. Fiedler’s popularity also labeled him a rarity; a classical crossover superstar. His many albums on RCA Victor, Polydor, and Deutsche Gramaphon records included "Strauss Family Waltzes," "Old-Timer's Night at the Pops," "Gaite Parisienne," "Evening at Pops," "'Pops' Goes the Trumpet", "Fiedler's All-Time Favorites," "Star Dust," "Irish Night at the Pops," and, "The Best of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops." His Esplanade concert of July 4, 1976, was heard by over 400,000 people and was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records the largest single audience for a classical music concert. Fiedler would also appear with the San Francisco Symphony in pops programs from 1951 to 1978. He made guest appearances with other orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. In 1954 the city of Boston dedicated the Arthur Fiedler Foot Bridge on the Charles River. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony in 1977, and that same year was given the Freedoms Foundation American Exemplar Award. He directed the Pops for almost fifty years, five seasons longer than all of his predecessors combined. He died in Brookline, Massachusetts following surgery at age 85. Such was his fame; his passing was mourned world wide. He was honored posthumously, being pictured on a 32¢ US postage stamp in the Legends of American Music series, and issued in September of 1997.
Bio by: Iola