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date: 16 October 2019

Klemperer, Ottolocked

  • Peter Heyworth
  • , revised by John Lucas

Extract

(b Breslau, May 14, 1885; d Zürich, July 6, 1973). German conductor and composer. After studying the piano with James Kwast and theory with Ivan Knorr at the conservatory in Frankfurt, Klemperer followed Kwast to the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory in Berlin, where he also studied composition and conducting with Pfitzner. In 1906 he replaced Oskar Fried at the last moment to conduct Max Reinhardt’s production of Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers at the Neues Theater in Berlin. The previous year, on the occasion of a performance of Mahler’s Symphony no.2, in which he directed the offstage orchestra, he had first encountered the composer who was to exercise a decisive influence on his career. It was on Mahler’s recommendation that Klemperer was appointed chorus master and subsequently conductor at the Neues Deutsches Theater in Prague in 1907 (making his debut in Der Freischütz), and then at Hamburg from 1910 to 1912...

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