Walter Henry Rothwell, accomplished pianist and conductor in both Europe and the U.S. was invited in 1919 by William Andrews Clark, Jr., lawyer and music enthusiast, to organize and conduct the newly formed Los Angeles Philharmonic that he had just founded. Rothwell took control, becoming the first conductor of the LAPO. Rothwell and Clark recruited players from the moribund Los Angeles Symphony, and the influx of musicians recently arrived in New York from the disastrous aftermath of World War I. With Rothwell at the helm, the orchestra’s inaugural concert took place on October 24, 1919 in Trinity Auditorium. Rothwell’s focus as a conductor was on nineteenth century Romantic repertoire that not only had a popular appeal, but helped to quickly develop the orchestra into an artistically successful institution. In his nearly eight years as Music Director of the LAPO more than 500 concerts were given in southern California. He died suddenly on March 12, 1927.