Barbirolli, Sir John (bärˌbərōˈlē) [key], 1899–1970, English conductor and cellist, b. London. After being cellist (1920–24) in the International String Quartet, he organized the Barbirolli String Orchestra. Barbirolli held positions as conductor of the British National Opera Company (1926), the Covent Garden Opera Company (1930–33), the Scottish Orchestra, and the Leeds Symphony (1933–36). In 1937 he succeeded Toscanini as conductor of the New York Philharmonic (1937–42). After 1943, Barbirolli conducted the Halle Orchestra, Manchester, and was knighted in 1949. He became conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra in 1961. Barbirolli was noted for sensitive musical interpretation and for his transcriptions of early music for the modern orchestra.
See biographies by C. Reid and M. Kennedy (both 1971).
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