The Vienna-born conductor has his moment of fame when, as newly appointed music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, it fell to him to inform the audience on November 22, 1963, of the assassination of President John F Kennedy, a Boston hero. Leinsdorf followed his announcement by conducting the funeral march from Beethoven’s Eroica symphony. He did not put a foot wrong.
But his tenure in Boston lasted just seven years and was marred by bad-tempered disputes with musicians and managers. Leinsdorf was a highly-paid guest conductor for the rest of his life, leaving no further mark on history.
Today, 30 years after his death, Vienna has affixed a plaque to the house where he was born, Kochgasse 34 in the Josefstadt district.