Bruno Walter

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Bruno Walter (September 15, 1876 – February 17, 1962) was a German-born conductor. One of the most famous conductors of the 20th century, he was born in Berlin, but moved to several countries between 1933 and 1939, finally settling in the United States in 1939. He was born Bruno Schlesinger, but began using Walter as his surname in 1896, and officially changed his surname to Walter upon becoming a naturalised Austrian in 1911. Walter was for many years active as a composer, but his works have not entered the repertoire.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Born near Alexanderplatz in Berlin to a middle-class Jewish family as Bruno Schlesinger, he began his musical education at the Stern Conservatory at the age of eight, making his first public appearance as a pianist when he was nine. However, following visits to one of Hans von Bülow's concerts in 1889 and to Bayreuth in 1891, he changed his mind and decided upon a conducting career. He made his conducting début at the Cologne Opera with Albert Lortzing's Der Waffenschmied in 1894. Later that year he left for the Hamburg Opera to work as a chorus director. There he first met and worked with Gustav Mahler, whom he idolized and with whose music he later became strongly identified.[citation needed]

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