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date: 13 October 2019

Rankl, Karllocked

  • Frank Howes

Extract

(b Gaaden, nr Vienna, Oct 1, 1898; d Salzburg, Sept 6, 1968). British conductor and composer of Austrian birth. He studied music in Vienna as a private pupil of Schoenberg and later of Webern. His first conducting appointment was at Liberec (1925), followed by Königsberg (1927) and the Kroll Oper in Berlin (1928–31), where he was associated with Otto Klemperer's advocacy of modern music. After a spell at Graz, he was appointed in 1937 director of the Neues Deutsches Theater in Prague, where in 1938 he conducted the first performance of Krenek's Karl V. At the outbreak of war he took refuge in England and became a British citizen.

Rankl's experience made him the right man to organize, as musical director, the new establishment of opera at Covent Garden set up in 1946. He recruited a company of British singers and persuaded international singers including Schwarzkopf, Welitsch and Silveri to join it and perform a wide repertory of German, Italian, Russian and English opera. By ...

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