Text Box: Conductor autographs
Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD

Price: $150.00

MINT CONDITION

Dual autographed 5” x 7” matte, double-weight photograph of the conductor and soprano in rehearsal at the Hollywood Bowl.  The August 7, 1936 concert is a box office record for this venue that still stands today.

Kostelanetz (1901-1980) and Pons (1898-1976) met in 1934 when she auditioned for his program, The Chesterfield Hour.  What initially was an audition turned into Kostelanetz infatuation and his first act was to find a vocal instructor to help her with some vocal problems.   Her star status as the reigning coloratura soprano at the Metropolitan Opera after Galli-Curci, coupled with her beauty and bubbly personality brought her to Hollywood in 1935 to star in the movie “I Dream Too Much”.  By then Kostelanetz and she were “in love” and he was travelling bi-monthly the 18 hour trip from New York to Hollywood to be with her.  The film which also starred Henry Fonda was a hit and the duo were hired to perform at the Hollywood Bowl during the Summer of 1936.  The venue at this time was much larger than it is today and 26,410 tickets were sold for the event.  It stands today as the single best selling performance ever at the Hollywood Bowl.

Kostelanetz and Pons were eventually married in 1938, a marriage which lasted until 1958.  The conductor became her arranger and conductor and they travelled the World together for the USO and in regular concerts.  Kostelanetz is best remembered as the Pops conductor of the New York Philharmonic, (1953-1979) which sometimes went under the name, Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra.  During those concerts, some of the most important World Premieres of American classical music at the time were commissioned and performed, Creston’s “Frontiers”, Coplands “A Lincoln Portrait”, Grofés “Hudson River Suite”, Hovhannes’s “And God Created Whales”, Kern’s “Mark Twain Suite” and William Schumann’s “New England Tryptich”. Also, Kostelanetz commissioned William Walton’s “Capriccio Burlesco”, which was dedicated to him and he conducted the first performance and made the first recording of the work.

Kostelanetz’s discography is massive, all with Columbia Records.  He was one of the true visionary leaders of the popular classical movement along with Arthur Fiedler and later Erich Kunzel. 

A historical photograph of the pair prior to their marriage!

ANDRE KOSTELANETZ & LILY PONS

Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247