Library of Congress Gets Easy-Listening Bequest

Family of pioneering broadcast musician, CBS conductor Andre Kostelanetz donates papers, recordings

The family of pioneering broadcast musician and conductor André Kostelanetz has donated his papers, recordings and other memorabilia to the Library of Congress.  

Kostelanetz, who died in 1980, pioneered the easy-listening format, popularizing classical music as conductor of the CBS orchestra in the 1930's and 40's. His recordings were a mainstay of the company's CBS Records. 

Kostelanetz was also an innovator of production technique, tailoring the recording of classical music to a broadcast audience through the placement of microphones and musicians to try to reproduce a concert hall sound. 

The Kostelanetz bequest comprises 73 crates worth of original recordings, including oral histories and transcriptions of radio and TV shows.

“During his lifetime, André Kostelanetz donated hundreds of his unique orchestral arrangements and ‘off-air’ recordings to the Library," said Susan H. Vita, chief of the library's music division in announcing the bequest.

“It will be of great value to students and historians of American music, show business and broadcasting,” add Vita. “From his musical imprint to his innovations in broadcasting."