Opera Scotland

Bruno Walter Suggest updates

Bruno Schlesinger.

Born Berlin, 15 September 1876.

Died Los Angeles, 17 February 1962.

German, later American, conductor.

Bruno Walter studied in Berlin before joining the music staff at Cologne for the 1893-4 season. He soon conducted his first opera, Lortzing's Der Waffenschmied. He later moved round various continental opera houses, including Hamburg (1894-6); Breslau (Wroclaw 1896-7); Pressburg (Bratislava 1897-8); Riga (1899-1900); Berlin (1900-01); and Vienna (1901-12), where he started as assistant to Mahler. At Munich he was Music Director 1913-22, conducting premieres of operas by Schreker (Das Spielwerk und die Prinzessin 1913); Korngold (Violanta and Der Ring des Polykrates 1916); and Pfitzner (Palestrina 1917).

Later he was director at Berlin (1925-9), Vienna (1936-8) and Salzburg (1922-37). He first conducted in London at Covent Garden in 1910 (The Wreckers Ethel Smyth), returning 1924 - 31 to conduct works by Mozart, Wagner and Strauss. After the rise of Hitler he moved to the USA, conducting opera at New York and Chicago.

The first Edinburgh Festival saw him famously reunited with the Vienna Philharmonic, and their performance of Das Lied von der Erde (of which he had conducted the 1911 premiere) was justly legendary.

Roles in Scotland

Lied von der Erde 1947

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