Print Shortlink

Fiedler, Arthur (17th December 1894-10th July 1979)

He was a musician and orchestral conductor born on 17th December 1894 in Boston, Massachusetts, whose father was an Austrian-born violinist who had played in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and his mother was a pianist and musician.

He attended the Boston Latin School until his father retired and they returned to Austria where he studied and worked.  He worked in publishing houses in Vienna and Berlin and later studied piano, violin and conducting at the Royal Academy in Berlin in 1909, returning to the United States at the outbreak of WWI.

He joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a violinist, pianist, organist and percussionist and in 1924 he formed the Boston Sinfonietta which started a series of outdoor concerts.

In 1930 he was appointed the 18th conductor of the Boston Pops and he stayed with them for 50 years.  It is said that under his direction the Boston Pops made more recordings than any other orchestra in the world with their total sales exceeding $50 million.

Aside from conducting the Boston Pops he also conducted many orchestras from American cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland and New York as well as internationally in Europe, South America, Australia and Africa.

He had a fascination for the work of firefighters and would often travel to large fires in Boston to see them work, leading to the Boston Fire Department making him an Honorary Captain.

He received many awards including the Morality in Media Award, the National Arts Club Award, the Sword of Loyola, and in 1977 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  After his death in July 1979, aged 84, an abstract sculpture of him was put up in the Charles River Esplanade in Boston where the free outdoor concerts still take place.

Boston Pops recordings

Richard Adler

Hernando’s Hideaway
RCA 68793 (CD:
Boston Tea Party)

Boston Pops

Leroy Anderson

A Christmas Festival
DG 419 414-2 (CD: White Christmas)
Conductor – Arthur Fiedler

RCA 09026-61685-2 (CD: Pops Christmas Party)
Conductor – Arthur Fiedler

Irish Suite
RCA 60746-2-RG (CD: Irish Night at the Pops)
Conductor – Arthur Fiedler

Sleigh Ride
Deutsche Grammophon DG 419 414 (CD: White Christmas)
Conductor – Arthur Fiedler

RCA 6428 (CD: A Christmas Festival with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops)
Conductor – Arthur Fiedler

RCA 61685 (CD: Pops Christmas Party)
Conductor – Arthur Fiedler
TrumpetAl Hirt

Here he is conducting the Boston Pops with Earl Wild performing Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1″…