As Conductor

The first mention in a program of Marcel Tabuteau as ‘Conductor’ appeared in a single-page program for a Columbia Broadcasting System radio broadcast:

THE CURTIS INSTITUTE OF MUSIC
RADIO PROGRAMME

Monday, January 29, 1940 – 10:30 to 11:00 P M., E.S.T.

WOODWIND ENSEMBLE, conducted by
MARCEL TABUTEAU

And three months later in a program at Curtis:

THE CURTIS INSTITUTE OF MUSIC

CASIMIR HALL, SIXTEENTH SEASON—1939-1940

RECITAL OF MUSIC FOR WOODWIND ENSEMBLE

CONDUCTED BY MR. TABUTEAU

Assisted by Jorge Bolet, Pianist

FRIDAY EVENING, APRIL 19, 1940, AT 8:30 O’CLOCK

Thus began Marcel Tabuteau’s ‘official’ conducting career. Previous to that time, the Curtis programs read: ‘Students of’ or ‘Under the Direction of’ ‘Mr. Tabuteau’ or ‘Mr. Marcel Tabuteau,’ or ‘Marcel Tabuteau.’ In truth, however, he did conduct before 1940 while coaching student ensembles* and for performances in Casimir/Curtis Hall** although not listed as conductor. From early 1940 through the end of the 1952-53 school year, Curtis programs confirm that he conducted a concert almost every year until he retired. He also conducted the Curtis Orchestra for the majority of their 1944-45 radio broadcasts at the K.Y.W. Radio studios. (In her book, Laila Storch mentions an old newspaper clipping announcing Tabuteau’s formation of an orchestra: The Philharmonic of Philadelphia. It is doubtful that Stokowski or Ormandy would have tolerated competition from a member of their own orchestra for very long!) The links below will take you to Curtis programs showing the repertoire that Tabuteau conducted:

*As early as 1926, the Curtis Catalogue states that the school’s orchestra classes “are designed to give students preliminary training in orchestral performance and are conducted by Marcel Tabuteau.”

**The first paragraph of an April 17, 1937 review in the Musical Courier (New York City) reads: “On April 4, students of Marcel Tabuteau in woodwind ensemble gave a rare and delightful concert in Casimir Hall of the Curtis Institute of Music, with Mr. Tabuteau conducting.”

Concert Programs 

Radio Broadcasts