Charles Munch (1891–1968) was an Alsatian French symphonic conductor and violinist. Noted for his mastery of the French orchestral repertoire, he was best known as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Charles Munch was already an accomplished recording artist by the time he was engaged by the Boston Symphony for the 1948–49 concert season. His formidable discography with the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire (the “Paris Conservatory Orchestra”) and London Philharmonic, notably 20 postwar Decca recordings of 1946 and 1947, had been solicited by his prospective employers and figured in the decision to hire. As conductor of the Boston Symphony until the close of the 1961–62 season, Munch was central to the planning, scheduling, and execution of discs that defined the modern Boston Symphony, from its basic funding sources to its presence in every living room equipped with a phonograph.