Andre Kostelanetz

Andre Kostelanetz


Andre Kostelanetz
Music: South side of the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Dec. 22, 1901 in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Died Jan. 13, 1980 of pneumonia in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

When he was 5 years old, Andre Kostelanetz elbowed his way through the crowd to the bandstand where a concert was underway in a park in his native Russia.

He began imitating the conductor, who noticed him and stopped. Young Kostelanetz kept waving his arms, however, and the band kept playing.

So began the career of the man who would serve as a guest conductor of virtually every major orchestra in the world before his death in 1980.

Kostelanetz popularized classical and "middlebrow" American music for the masses as no one else before had — from the podium, over the radio and on records.

He conducted more than 100 performances of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and his lush recordings sold more than 52 million copies — a record for any conductor.

Known for a precise conducting style that avoided flamboyant gestures, Kostelanetz shrugged off detractors in the music world who belittled his taste.

"If I can leave an inheritance of a growing audience for the concert hall, I have accomplished everything," he declared. "All the rest are second-class accomplishments."

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