Otto Klemperer

Otto Klemperer (* 14. May 1885 in Breslau, † 6. July 1973 in Zurich) was a German conductor and composer. It is considered as one of the largest conductors 20. Century.

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Otto Klemperer, aufgenommen zwischen 1920 und 1940

Klemperer was born in the schlesischen Breslau. It continued its study begun in Frankfurt/Main in Berlin under the direction of Hans Pfitzner . As it 1905 the remote music in Gustav Mahlers 2. Symphonie to direct was allowed, met it the composer personally.The two became friends, and Klemperer got 1907 on recommendation Mahlers the place as a Kapellmeister at the German national theatre in Prague. it assisted 1910 meals during the premiere of its 8. Symphonie.

In its further career it was at the city theatre of Hamburg (1910 - 1912) and Barmen (1912 - 1913) employed. From 1914 to 1917 it was Pfitzners deputy at the city theatre in Strasbourg. The moreover he was a Kapellmeister, late head conductor in the Cologne opera (1917 - 1924). In Cologne he married 1919 the singer Johanna Geisler.

After a furtherActivity at the national theatre in Wiesbaden (1924 - 1927) it led the Krolloper to 1931 in Berlin. Klemperer became famous for its performances of contemporary works, like for example Arnold of beautiful mountain expectation , Leoš Janáčeks opera from a dead house, Igor Strawinskys oedipus Rex and Paul Hindemiths Cardillac.

Since Klemperer was Jew, he fled after the seizure of power of the Nazis in the year 1933 into the USA, where he became a conductor with the Los Angeles Symphony orchestra. During its time in America it concentrated more on the works of the German classical authors how Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms or meals.

To the end of the Second World War he came back to Europe and became musical upper leader of the state opera in Budapest (1947 - 1950). After it was active still three years with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, it left itself1954 again in Europe (in Switzerland) down and worked mainly with the Philharmonia Orchestra London, where he received 1959 the posts as a principal conductor on lifetime.

Although Klemperer admits less than composer was, he wrote nevertheless a multiplicity of own works, under it to six Symphonien, oneFair, nine caper quartets, approximately 100 songs and an opera with the title the goal.

In its later life suffered Klemperer at a partial paralysis, which was due probably still to an operation in the year 1939, when one treated him because of a tumor in the head.In addition it was at the bipolar disturbance (manisch depressive illness) gets sick, because of which it was occasional in clinical treatment. Nevertheless it remained active in the year 1971. After this time he withdrew himself, until he finally died 1973 in Zurich.


itsWife was a singer Johanna Geisler and its son was an actor Werner Klemperer.

Its cousin was a writer and literature scientist Victor Klemperer.

Klemperer was of 1924 to 1927 head conductor in Wiesbaden, with own words its most beautiful time. In this time it undertookamong other things Journeys to the former Soviet Union.


  • Peter Heyworth (Hg.): Discussions with Klemperer. S. Fischer publishing house, Frankfurt/Main 1974, ISBN 3100335015.

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see also: German composers NAME


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