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Dimitri Mitropoulos Collection M/A 1988.52.01

Dimitri Mitropoulos Collection M/A 1988.52.01

Creator:Mitropoulos, Dimitri
Title: Dimitri Mitropoulos Collection
Quantity: 1.0 boxes
Repository: James K. Hosmer Special Collections Library


Dimitri Mitropoulos was born in Athens, Greece on February 18th, 1896. He was musically precocious, demonstrating his abilities at an early age. He entered the Athens Conservatory at the age of 14, excelling at both piano and composition. Mitropoulos had originally entered training to become a monk in the Greek Orthodox church, however decided against it when he learned that he would not be allowed to keep an instrument in his cell.

From 1921 to 1925 he assisted Erich Kleiber at the Berlin State Opera. He also took a number of posts in Greece, including conductor of the Athens Conservatory Orchestra in 1924. He made his U.S. debut in 1936 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

From 1937 to 1949, he served as the principal conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (now known as the Minnesota Orchestra). Mitropoulos's tenure was regarded as a golden age for the orchestra. His style of directing was passionate and energetic, using gestures instead of a baton and memorizing all of his scores instead of referencing a printed one. He performed more contemporary compositions than his predecesors had, to the delight of some and the chagrin of others. His resignation in 1949 was front page news in local newspapers.

Thereafter he began his association with the New York Philharmonic, the peak of his orchestral career. In 1957 he was succeeded as the Philharmonic's conductor by a protégé, Leonard Bernstein.

In addition to his orchestral career, Mitropoulos was an equally important force in the operatic repertoire. He conducted opera extensively in Italy and from 1954 until his death in 1960 was the principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, although the Met did not officially use that title at the time.

Mitropoulos died of heart failure in Milan, Italy on November 2, 1960.

Collection Description

The collection consists of 11 folders, most of which contain newspaper and periodical clippings regarding Mitropoulos's life and career. One folder contains a number of portraits. One folder also contains a bound collection of publicity materials from the 1940s given to the managers of locations at which Mitropoulos and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra were touring.

Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra.


Conductors (Music).
Music -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis.

Table of Contents

Clippings 1930-1939 -- Box 1, Folder 1
Clippings 1940 -- Box 1, Folder 2
Clippings 1941 -- Box 1, Folder 3
Clippings 1942-1944 -- Box 1, Folder 4
Clippings 1945-1947 -- Box 1, Folder 5
Clippings 1948-1949 -- Box 1, Folder 6
Clippings 1950-1959 -- Box 1, Folder 7
Obituaries and Memorials 1960-1995 -- Box 1, Folder 8
Portraits 1939-1945 -- Box 1, Folder 9
Biographical Clippings 1939-1995 -- Box 1, Folder 10
Publicity Material 1940s -- Box 1, Folder 11

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