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Bruno Walter
since February 1, 2000

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Bruno Walter born in Berlin on September 15, 1876.
He began his musical education at a boy 8 years old in the Stern Conservatory. When he was 9 years old, he made his first public appearance as a pianist. Following visits to one of Hans von Bulow's concerts in 1889 and to Bayreuth in 1891. He was first engaged as a coach at the Cologne Opera in 1893, and made his conducting debut there with Lortzing's Waffenschmied. After seasons at the theatres in Breslau, Pressburg and Riga, he returned in 1900 to Berlin. When he was 25 years old, he joined Gustav Mahler at the Court Opera in Vienna. In the following years, which were formative ones for Walter's international career, he was invited to conduct in Prague, London and Rome.
In 1910, he conducted Tristan und Isolde and Ethel Smyth's The Wreckers at Covent Garden. Walter became an Austrian citizen in 1911, officially changing his last name from Schlesinger to Walter. When he was 37 years old, he left Vienna to become musical director of the Munich Opera, remaining there until the end of 1922. In 1923 he visited the United States to conduct the New York Symphony Orchestra, and was re-engaged for the following season.Further guest appearances in Europe included several with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra. In London, Walter was chief conductor of the German seasons at Covent Garden from 1924 to 1931.In 1925 he returned to Berlin as musical director at the Stadtische Opera. In 1933, when the political situation became impossible for him, Walter left Germany for Austria. This was to be his main center of activity for the next several years, although he was also a frequent guest conductor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra from 1934 to 1939, and made guest appearances elsewhere, including annual visits with the New York Philharmonic from 1932 to 1936, and in Florence in 1936. At the Vienna Staatsoper he was guest conductor from 1935 and artistic adviser from 1936. In 1938 the Anschluss uprooted him once more. Walter was granted French citizenship, but settled in 1939 in the United States. During his American years he conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic (where he was musical adviser from 1947 to 1949), and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among others. Between 1941 and 1959 he also conducted at the Metropolitan Opera. Beginning in 1947, he made numerous return visits to Europe, becoming an important figure in the early years of the Edinburgh Festival, and returning to Salzburg, Vienna and Munich.
Bruno Walter died on February 17, 1962, in Beverly Hills.

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