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I'm An American -- Leopold Stokowski

Recorded Sound | Digitized | RG Number: RG-91.0034

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    On November 17, 1940 Leopold Stokowski discussed with Earl G. Harrison, Director of the Alien Registration at the Department of Justice, how music can help solve the problems of the world. The Symphony conductor shares his immigration story and first impression of America. Stokowski reveals he left Europe because he rejected their outdated approach to music. He also explains why it is important to let go of old ideas that no longer work, and live according to the needs of today. Stokowski explains why and how he became involved with the All American Youth Orchestra. The program closes with the famed conductor stating, “Youth will form the future of America”.

    Leopold Stokowski was born on April 18, 1882 in Marylebone, London to a Polish father and Scottish mother. He was admitted to the Royal College of Music at the age of 13. The decision made him the youngest person, at that time, to have been admitted to the College. In 1898, he was elected to become a member of the Royal College of Organists at the age of 16. For several years he worked as a musician, choirmaster and assistant organist in London. In 1905, Stokowski was recruited to be an organist in New York City. He developed a musical reputation. Stokowski is considered the most flamboyant conductor of the 20th century. He is best known for his popularization of classical music and preferring to conduct without a baton. He, along with the Philadelphia Orchestra, were featured in Walt Disney’s Fantasia. In 1915, Stokowski became a naturalized United States citizen.
    Broadcast:  1940 November 17

    Physical Details

    Radio broadcasts.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This archival media can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing stations.
    NBC Universal
    Conditions on Use
    Contact NBC Universal at for permission to duplicate and use this film or sound recording.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    United States.

    Administrative Notes

    Recorded Sound Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased digital copies of these sound recordings from the Library of Congress in March 2018.
    Recorded Sound Notes
    More information about Leopold Stokowski:

    More information about I’M AN AMERICAN:
    Recorded Sound Source
    Library of Congress - Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS)
    File Number
    Source Archive Number: RGB 1260
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:30:01
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