Frederick Stock was a German conductor and composer.
Stock was born in Jülich, Germany and given his early musical education by his army bandmaster father. At the age of fourteen, Frederick Stock was admitted into the Cologne Conservatory as a student of violin and composition, where he counted Engelbert Humperdinck as one of his teachers, and Willem Mengelberg among his classmates. After graduating from the conservatory in 1890, Stock was accepted to the Municipal Orchestra of Cologne as a violinist.
In 1895, Stock met with Theodore Thomas, founder and first music director of the then fledgling Chicago Orchestra and the man who was to have a decisive impact on Stock’s future. Thomas, who was then visiting Germany in search of recruits for his Chicago Orchestra, auditioned Stock and gave him a position as violist in the orchestra. Thomas soon realized, however, that his new violist was also a very talented conductor and in 1899, Stock was promoted to assistant conductor.
After the death of Theodore Thomas on January 4, 1905, Frederick Stock took over the immediate duties of music director. That year, he wrote a symphonic poem Eines Menschenlebens Morgen, Mittag, und Abend, dedicated to “Theodore Thomas and the Members of the Chicago Orchestra.” The work was first performed on April 7 and 8, 1905.