Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
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Oliver Daniel is the author of Stokowski: A Counterpoint of View published by Dodd, Mead & Company in 1982 during the centenary of the birth of Leopold Stokowski. The book was intended to document the facts about Stokowski's life, often presented inaccurately in earlier biographies, and to focus on Stokowski's many contributions to music in the twentieth century as seen through the eyes and stories of many of Stokowski's colleagues, family members, and friends. Daniel conducted more than 500 interviews with over 300 individuals from 1976 to 1982 while researching his biography.
Oliver Daniel first met Leopold Stokowski in the 1940s when Daniel was producing classical music radio broadcasts for NBC, ABC, and CBS. Their friendship developed during the 1950s with their mutual interest in promoting contemporary music and they founded the Contemporary Music Society together in 1952. Daniel served on the Board of Directors of the American Symphony Orchestra when Stokowksi founded the Orchestra in 1962 and maintained a close working relationship with Stokowski until the latter's departure for England in 1972. Stokowski was reluctant to cooperate with biographers and, indeed most of the work for this biography was not accomplished until after Stokowski's death in 1977. Daniel had pursued the idea of writing a biography with Stokowski during the 1950s and then abandoned the plan for a period of time.
Daniel left CBS Radio in 1954 to accept a position as vice-president and director of concert music administration at Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) where he worked until his retirement in 1976. He also served as Chairman of the Board of American Composer's Concerts, Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Young Audiences, but devoted most of his time after his retirement to working on his biography of Leopold Stokowski. Oliver Daniel was born in De Pere, Wisconsin 24 Nov. 1911. He studied piano and taught at the Boston Conservatory of music, 1936-1938 and at Marot College, 1939-1942. He was a member of the Charles Ives Society and vice president of the board of directors from 1973 on. He edited The Harmony of Maine, 1949; Down East Spirituals, 1949; and The Music of William Billings, 1943-1967. He was working on an unfinished biography of Dimitri Mitropolous at the time of his death in 1991.
Oliver Daniel's biography of Leopold Stokowski and the interviews he obtained to write it cover Stokowski's New York contacts and musical activities extensively, particularly Stokowski's years conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the American Symphony Orchestra. Daniel interviewed many musicians who played for Stokowski, many conductors who worked with him and got their start with him, and composers whose works Stokowski introduced to the American public and to the world.
Daniel also conducted a number of interviews with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Stokowski's friends in Philadelphia. This period in Stokowski's career is not covered as thoroughly as Stokowski's later career in New York, although there are very interesting interviews concerning Stokowksi's productions of opera, including Alban Berg's Wozzeck, in Philadelphia in the 1930s.
Oliver Daniel lived in Boston as a young man and had a great interest in conductor Serge Koussevitzky. He frequently asked his interview subjects their opinion of Koussevitzky and also of Toscanini, who for a brief time shared the conducting of the NBC Symphony Orchestra with Stokowski. There are, therefore, a considerable number of interviews in this collection that discuss both Arturo Toscanini and Serge Koussevitzky. Composers whom Daniel interviewed include Samuel Barber, Carlos Chavez, Wen-Chung Chou, Aaron Copland, Paul Creston, Harold Farberman, Morton Gould, Alan Hovhaness, John Lessard, Otto Luening, Peter Mennin, Gian Carlo Menotti, Vincent Persichetti, Ned Rorem, Virgil Thomson, and Ben Weber, among others.
Daniel's most extensive interviews with family members are with Stokowski's oldest daughter, Sonya Stokowski Thorbecke and with Stokowski's second wife, Evangeline Johnson Merrill. Daniel also interviewed Evangeline's daughters, Sadja Greenwood and Luba Rhodes. In addition he interviewed friends, former secretaries, music librarians, and record producers. Interviews with managers, board members, conductors, and musicians of the American Symphony Orchestra make this a particularly good source for information on this orchestra.
Oliver Daniel's interviews form the bulk of this collection and are its main resource; in addition, Daniel was very effective in organizing the tremendous amount of information he collected. Each transcript of an interview includes an index to the subjects covered. All interviews and transcripts have been cataloged in Franklin. For a listing of the 560 interviews, do the following title search in Franklin: Oliver Daniel Research Collection on Leopold Stokowski. Daniel also made great efforts to document the chronological sequence of Leopold Stokowski's life and his research files are organized both chronologically and alphabetically. Transcripts of the cassette tapes were made by Donald J. Ott, who assisted Oliver Daniel in many aspects of the preparation of this biography and donated the collection to the University of Pennsylvania in 1997.
Gift of Donald J. Ott, 1997
For a complete listing of interviews, do the following title search in Franklin: Interview conducted by Oliver Daniel.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- The processing of the Oliver Daniel research collection on Leopold Stokowski and the preparation of this register were made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities
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