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date: 18 May 2021

Levi, Hermannlocked

  • Laurence Dreyfus

Extract

(b Giessen, Upper Hesse, Nov 7, 1839; d Munich, May 13, 1900). German conductor. Descended from a line of distinguished rabbis, he attended the Mannheim Lyceum (1851–3) before withdrawing to study music with Vinzenz Lachner; from 1855 to 1858 he studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Moritz Hauptmann (music theory) and Julius Rietz (composition and conducting). Following several months in Paris, he became music director at Saarbrücken in 1859; two years later he deputized as associate conductor of the Mannheim Opera, on Lachner's recommendation, before being appointed Kapellmeister of the Hoogduitse Opera at Rotterdam (1862–4). As Hofkapellmeister in Karlsruhe (1864–72), he became a friend of Clara Schumann and, through her, of Brahms. From 1872 he was Hofkapellmeister in Munich, and was made general music director of the city in 1894, retiring in 1896.

A distinguished and serious-minded artist of great personal qualities and musical gifts, Levi was encouraged by the initial reception of his own Schumannesque compositions but became persuaded by ...

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Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
Cambridge Opera Journal
Neue deutsche Biographie (Berlin, 1953-)