Stokowski, Leopold

BORN 18 Apr 1882, London: 13 Upper Marylebone Street (now New Cavendish Street) - DIED 12 Sep 1977, Nether Wallop. Hampshire
BIRTH NAME Stokowski, Leopold Anthony
CAUSE OF DEATH heart attack
GRAVE LOCATION London: East Finchley Cemetery and Crematorium [Saint Marylebone Cemetery], East End Road, Finchley

Leopold Stokowski was the son of a Polish father and an Irish mother. He was educated as an organist at the Royal College of Music. In 1905 he started working as an organist and choir director at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York. In 1909 he was engaged as conductor at the Cincinnati Orchestra, although he was never educated as a conductor.

In 1911 he married the pianist Olga Samaroff (born Lucy Hickenlooper). They had a daughter, Sonya. In 1912 he became the conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

In Philadelphia he became world famous, although he was frequently in conflict with the critics and the public because he staged work from composers like Debussy, Stravinsky and Schönberg. He worked in Philadelphia until 1940 and formed the All-American Youth Orchestra afterwards.

He had divorced Olga in 1923 and he married Evangeline Love Brewster Johnson, heir of Johnson & Jonhson and aviator as well as artist. This marriage lasted until 1937 and resulted in two daughters. Another heiress, Gloria Vanderbilt, became his third wife in 1945. They had two sons, but a divorce followed in 1955.

He held positions at several more orchestra's and in 1973 he conducted the world premiere of Havergal Brian's 28th Symphony. He was 91 years old at the time and he died four years later in Hampshire.


The grave of Leopold Stokowski at Saint Marylebone Cemetery, Finchley London.
Picture by Androom (27 May 2014)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Londoners, Robson Books, London, 1991
Leopold Stokowski - Wikipedia

Stoltze, Friedrich

Published: 09 May 2015
Last update: 01 Apr 2022