Arthur Fiedler was as much a monument in Boston as the Common, the warship Constitution and the Old North Church.
Skillfully mixing showmanship with traditional musicianship, Fiedler's Boston Pops Orchestra concerts made classical music palatable to millions and served as a model for similar efforts by hundreds of other orchestras.
Perhaps the consummation of his career occurred on the nation's bicentennial when, in a stirring scene televised coast to coast, 400,000 people jammed the banks of the Charles River to hear the maestro conduct "Stars and Stripes Forever" against a background of exploding fireworks.
Waving flags, swaying in time to the march, the throng filled the hot summer's July Fourth night in a memorable moment of Americanism. Many in the audience had come to pay tribute not only to the nation, but also to Fiedler.