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John McGlinn

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Conductor John Alexander McGlinn III was born in Bryn Mawr, PA, on September 18, 1953, and grew up in nearby Gladwyn, PA. He taught himself to play piano and studied music theory and composition at Northwestern University, from which he graduated in 1976. He moved to New York City at a time of renewed interest in the history of Broadway musicals and began to specialize in restoring old scores to their original form. His first recording was Songs of New York for Book-of-the-Month Records. In the early '80s, he took on the major project of restoring the original score of the 1927 musical Show Boat with music by Jerome Kern and lyrics and libretto by Oscar Hammerstein II, initially under the auspices of the Houston Grand Opera. His efforts resulted in a new touring version of the show that ran on Broadway in 1983 and, in 1988, his restoration was recorded for a three-CD set by EMI on its Angel imprint, featuring the London Sinfonietta with opera singers featured in the cast, all conducted by McGlinn. The EMI association resulted from a set of lesser Kern musicals McGlinn had presented at Carnegie Hall in 1985 as part of a Kern centennial celebration. For EMI/Angel, he oversaw an album of Gershwin overtures, as well as studio cast recordings of Anything Goes, No, No, Nanette, Annie Get Your Gun, Brigadoon, and Kiss Me, Kate. (His other efforts for EMI/Angel include The Busby Berkeley Album [1994], containing music from movie musicals with choreography by Busby Berkeley, such as 42nd Street, and songs by Harry Warren and Al Dubin.) McGlinn also worked on albums by Kiri Te Kanawa, Frederica Von Stade, Kim Criswell, and Thomas Hampson, singers who also appeared on his studio cast recordings. At the start of the 21st century, McGlinn was commissioned by the Packard Humanities Institute to restore the complete works of Jerome Kern and Victor Herbert, but he worked on the project only a year before departing to accept an offer to conduct the works of Richard Wagner. Later in the 2000s, he was working for drama publisher Samuel French on restoring the 1954 Broadway musical Peter Pan. He died suddenly of an apparent heart attack at his home in Manhattan on February 14, 2009. ~ William Ruhlmann

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Birth Name:

John Alexander McGlinn III


18 September 1953 in Bryn Mawr, PA

Years Active:

'80s, '90s