Yes, Arthur Fiedler was a violist and a violinist. He was a playing member of the Boston Symphony for years before becoming the conductor of the Pops in 1930. When I asked him in 1961 whether he played in the BSO's 1917 acoustical recordings with Karl Muck, he said yes. (Concerning the recording sessions in Camden, Fiedler added "it was HOT! Muck was b---chy.")
Also, Pierre Monteux was a violist. Fairly recently Ward Marston included a 1904 vocal recording in one of his anthologies in which Monteux plays the viola obbligato.
Beecham made several 78s as a piano accompanist. He also played the piano briefly in a "Small World" television segment with Edward R. Murrow around 1957 (the "Air de ballet" from Gretry's Zemire et Azor, evidently a Beecham favorite).
From: John Haley <[log in to unmask]>
To: ARSCLIST <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sun, May 4, 2014 11:47 am
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Dora Labbette, Soprano with string quartette: The Flowers of the Forests, 1925?
I believe Fiedler (whose name means "fiddler") was also a violist. But the
violists are in good company with composers. Beethoven, Rossini and Mozart
all played the viola, I believe, altho both Beethoven and Mozart had
performing careers as pianists. Most of the famous violinists of the 19th
Century, and before, were also composers.
On Sun, May 4, 2014 at 11:41 AM, Dave Burnham <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> You're right. And an inordinate number were cellists, the ones you mention
> along with Kindler, Bourdon, Casals and Rostropovich. I think Hindemith did
> some conducting as well which would fill out the picture by including a
> Sent from my iPhone
> > On May 4, 2014, at 10:48 AM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Most of the great conductors were/are in fact string players, not
> > Szell, Walter, Solti and Bernstein were pianists, and Stokowski was an
> > organist (his first job in the US was as organist for St. Bart's Church
> > Manhattan). Most of the rest were string players. Munch was a
> > concertmaster under Furtwaengler. Toscanini and Barbirolli were
> > Koussevitzsky was a bass fiddle virtuoso. Ormandy was the most famous
> > violin student of Hubay, Szigeti's teacher.
> > Best,
> > John Haley
> > On Sun, May 4, 2014 at 4:42 AM, Nick Morgan <
> > [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >> I suppose most conductors trained before orchestral recording became
> >> widespread must have been able to - does anyone know of any that
> >> Nick
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> >> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dave Burnham
> >> Sent: 04 May 2014 04:11
> >> To: [log in to unmask]
> >> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Dora Labette, Soprano with string quartette: The
> >> Flowers of the Forests, 1925?
> >> I recently came across a record by Dora Labette with Beecham at the
> >> never realized he could play the piano.
> >> db