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The book contains several sets of color plates. The first set includes a painting of a young Antal Doráti and his sister, photos of his family homes in Budapest, a humorous drawing of an imaginary animal by Doráti, a photo of Doráti and his daughter Tonina playing a duet on the organ, and a photo of Antal Doráti and Ilse Doráti von Alpenheim. The second set of plates are program covers, often with beautiful artwork: the cover for the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, 9th Twilight Concert, April 1960, has a red rose lying across a violin on a purple background. The cover for the Concertgebouw Orchestra includes an excerpt of Doráti's own Symphony No 2 ('Querela Pacis').

During the 'Freelance Years' (1960-63) Doráti conducted with the London Symphony Orchestra on a regular basis, although without any official position. He also conducted at the BBC Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest den Haag, and occasionally a few others. He then became chief conductor with the BBC Symphony, conductor at Stockholm, and from 1970-75, in Washington DC, he led the National Symphony. At the time he took over, the National Symphony was almost bankrupt and had gone through a musician's strike. Doráti turned the orchestra around, and it became part of the new Kennedy Center which opened in 1971. In 1975, Doráti became Senior Conductor at the Royal Philharmonic and eventually was appointed its Conductor Laureate for Life. In 1977, he became musical director of the Detroit Symphony and organized music festivals including a Beethoven Festival, and a Brahms Festival. These festivals included symphonic performances, smaller ensembles, soloists, and lectures.

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Copyright © 21 July 2007 Anna L Franco, New York, USA


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