John Pritchard impressive conductor 1921-89

John Pritchard impressive conductor 1921-89

John Pritchard was born in London, to a musical family. His father, Albert Edward Pritchard, was a violinist with the London Symphony Orchestra. The young Pritchard studied violin, piano, and conducting in Italy.

John Pritchard impressive conductor 1921-89

Sir John Michael Pritchard CBE (5 February 1921 – 5 December 1989) was an English conductor. He was known for his interpretations of Mozart operas and for his support of contemporary music.

Life and career

Pritchard, as a conscientious objector, refused to serve in the Second World War, but was in any case registered unfit on medical grounds. In 1943 he took over the semi-professional Derby String Orchestra and was its principal conductor until 1951. He joined the music staff of Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1947 and was appointed chorus master in 1949. He remained associated with Glyndebourne for most of his career, as conductor, music counsellor (from 1963), principal conductor (1968) and musical director (1969–78).

Beyond Glyndebourne, John Pritchard appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, at Edinburgh in 1952 (deputising for Ernest Ansermet, who was ill). He made his début at the Royal Opera House in 1951 and at the Vienna State Opera in 1952. He appeared regularly with the Vienna Symphony (1953–55).

For Glyndebourne in this period he conducted Mozart’s Idomeneo and Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos at the Edinburgh festivals of 1953 and 1954 and Rossini’s La Cenerentola at the Berlin Festival, a performance described by the Dictionary of National Biography as ’a triumph’.

Principal conductor

In 1957, John Pritchard was appointed principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic where he launched the Musica Viva series showcasing contemporary music. His success in Liverpool led to his appointment as musical director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1962–66). Freelancing after leaving the LPO, he conducted concerts in Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Philadelphia and the Far East, and opera in Buenos Aires, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Salzburg, Florence, and Munich. In 1973 he conducted the London Philharmonic in China—the first visit by a Western orchestra.

His later permanent posts were chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, (1982–89) and musical director of the Cologne Opera (1978), La Monnaie, Brussels (1981), and the San Francisco Opera (1986). At the time of his death he was preparing Wagner’s Ring cycle for San Francisco.

John Pritchard was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1962 and knighted in 1983. The prestigious Shakespeare Prize (Hamburg) was awarded him in 1975.

He died in 1989 in Daly City, California, US. His homosexuality was described as ”unabashed”; he left a large part of his estate to his partner, Terry MacInnes.

Repertoire

John Pritchard was a champion of a wide range of new music, conducting the premieres of Britten’s Gloriana and Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage and King Priam, all at Covent Garden, and the British première of Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers at Glyndebourne. Of the classics of the repertoire he was noted for his Mozart and Richard Strauss. His recordings include Idomeneo, L’incoronazione di Poppea, Falstaff, Macbeth,Hansel and Gretel, L’elisir d’amore (with Plácido Domingo), Il segreto di Susanna (with Renata Scotto and Renato Bruson), Lucia di Lammermoor and La traviata (the last two with Joan Sutherland).

Recordings

Donizetti
  • Lucia di Lammermoor – Joan Sutherland (Lucia), André Turp (Edgardo), John Shaw (Enrico), Joseph Rouleau (Raimondo), Kenneth MacDonald (Arturo), Margreta Elkins (Alisa), Edgar Evans (Normanno), Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, John Pritchard, recorded 1961 – Celestial Audio CA 345
Mozart
  • Idomeneo – Richard Lewis (Idomeneo), Leopold Simoneau (Idamante), Sena Jurinac (Ilia), Lucille Udovick (Elettra), Chorus & Orchestra of the Glyndebourne Festival, John Pritchard, recorded 1956

Metropolitan Opera

[Met Performance] CID:227350
Così Fan Tutte {61}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/25/1971
Debut: Pietro Bottazzo
[Met Performance] CID:227450
Così Fan Tutte {62}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/3/1971
[Met Performance] CID:227540
Così Fan Tutte {63}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/12/1971
[Met Performance] CID:227620
Così Fan Tutte {64}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/20/1971
[Met Performance] CID:227650
Così Fan Tutte {65}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/23/1971
[Met Performance] CID:228000
Così Fan Tutte {66}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/28/1971
[Met Performance] CID:228120
Così Fan Tutte {67}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/8/1972
[Met Performance] CID:228170
Così Fan Tutte {68}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/14/1972
[Met Performance] CID:228250  Opera News
Così Fan Tutte {69}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/22/1972
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:228290
Così Fan Tutte {70}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/26/1972
[Met Performance] CID:236010 
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {353}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/25/1973
Review
[Met Performance] CID:236100
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {354}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/3/1974
[Met Performance] CID:236150
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {355}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/8/1974
[Met Performance] CID:236210
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {356}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/14/1974
[Met Performance] CID:236480
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {358}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/9/1974
[Met Performance] CID:236510
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {359}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/13/1974
[Met Performance] CID:236560
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {360}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/18/1974
[Met Performance] CID:236680 Opera News 1 Opera News 2
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {362}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/2/1974
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:243390
New Production
Le Nozze di Figaro {249}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/20/1975
Debuts: Barbara Bystrom, Wolfgang Brendel
Review
[Met Performance] CID:251430
Peter Grimes {32}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/21/1977
Debut: Donald Peck
Review
[Met Performance] CID:251490
Peter Grimes {33}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/26/1977
[Met Performance] CID:251530
Peter Grimes {34}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/29/1977
[Met Performance] CID:251590
Peter Grimes {35}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/3/1977
[Met Performance] CID:251650 Opera News
Peter Grimes {36}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/10/1977
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:252070
New production
Thaïs {47}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/18/1978
Debuts: Louise Wohlafka, Kent Cottam, Tito Capobianco, Carl Toms, Dennis Seetoo, Gigi Denda
Review
[Met Performance] CID:252110
Thaïs {48}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/21/1978
[Met Performance] CID:252140
Thaïs {49}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/25/1978
[Met Performance] CID:252170  Opera News
Thaïs {50}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/28/1978
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:252200
Thaïs {51}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/31/1978
[Met Performance] CID:252260
Thaïs {52}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/6/1978
Debut: Jean Van Ree
[Met Performance] CID:252290
Thaïs {53}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/9/1978
[Met Performance] CID:252340
Thaïs {54}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/14/1978
[Met Performance] CID:252390
Thaïs {55}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/18/1978
[Met Performance] CID:252430
Thaïs {56}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/23/1978
[Met Performance] CID:252510
Thaïs {57}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/3/1978
[Met Performance] CID:252840
Don Giovanni {355}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/3/1978
Debut: Anna Tomowa-Sintow
[Met Performance] CID:252890
Don Giovanni {356}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/7/1978
[Met Performance] CID:252950
Don Giovanni {357}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/12/1978
[Met Performance] CID:253020
Thaïs {58}
Cleveland Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio; 04/17/1978
[Met Performance] CID:253080
Don Giovanni {358}
Cleveland Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio; 04/22/1978
Debut: Joan Carden
[Met Performance] CID:253090
Thaïs {59}
Hynes Civic Auditorium, Boston, Massachusetts; 04/24/1978
[Met Performance] CID:253140
Don Giovanni {359}
Hynes Civic Auditorium,Boston, Massachusetts; 04/29/1978
[Met Performance] CID:253160
Thaïs {60}
Civic Center, Atlanta, Georgia; 05/1/1978
[Met Performance] CID:253210
Don Giovanni {360}
Civic Center,Atlanta, Georgia; 05/6/1978
[Met Performance] CID:253230
Thaïs {61}
Dixon-Myers Hall, Memphis, Tennessee; 05/8/1978
[Met Performance] CID:253290
Don Giovanni {361}
State Fair Music Hall, Dallas, Texas; 05/13/1978
[Met Performance] CID:253300
Thaïs {62}
Northrup Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota; 05/15/1978
[Met Performance] CID:253350
Don Giovanni {362}
Northrup Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota; 05/20/1978
Debut: Rockwell Blake
[Met Performance] CID:253370
Thaïs {63}
Masonic Temple, Detroit, Michigan; 05/22/1978
[Met Performance] CID:256550
Die Zauberflöte {226}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/17/1979
Debuts: Seth McCoy, May Sandoz, Harald Stamm, Christian Boesch, Carl Tramon
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:256590
Die Zauberflöte {227}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/21/1979
[Met Performance] CID:256610
Die Zauberflöte {228}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/23/1979
[Met Performance] CID:256670
Die Zauberflöte {229}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/1/1979
Review
[Met Performance] CID:256720
Die Zauberflöte {230}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/5/1979
[Met Performance] CID:256760
Die Zauberflöte {231}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/9/1979
[Met Performance] CID:256810
Die Zauberflöte {232}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/14/1979
[Met Performance] CID:256850
Die Zauberflöte {233}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/17/1979
[Met Performance] CID:256860
Die Zauberflöte {234}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/19/1979
[Met Performance] CID:274170
Peter Grimes {37}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/13/1983
Debut: Kirk Peterson
Review
[Met Performance] CID:274220
Peter Grimes {38}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/18/1983
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:274270
Centennial Gala II
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/22/1983
100th Anniversary of the Metropolitan Opera
Broadcast / Telecast
Review
[Met Performance] CID:274300
Peter Grimes {39}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/26/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274310
La Traviata {693}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/27/1983
Debut: Terry Cook
[Met Performance] CID:274340
Peter Grimes {40}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/29/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274350
La Traviata {694}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/31/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274390
Peter Grimes {41}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/4/1983
Debut: Eugene Tournour
[Met Performance] CID:274400
La Traviata {695}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/5/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274430
La Traviata {696}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/8/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274440
Peter Grimes {42}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/9/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274460
La Traviata {697}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/11/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274480
Peter Grimes {43}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/12/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274490
La Traviata {698}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/14/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274500
Peter Grimes {44}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/15/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274520
La Traviata {699}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/17/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274540
Peter Grimes {45}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/19/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274580
La Traviata {700}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/23/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274620
La Traviata {701}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/26/1983
[Met Performance] CID:274660
La Traviata {702}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/1/1983
[Met Performance] CID:275290
La Traviata {703}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/28/1984
[Met Performance] CID:275320
La Traviata {704}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/1/1984
[Met Performance] CID:275350
La Traviata {705}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/4/1984
Broadcast

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