Kleiber, Erich

   conductor; led Berlin's* Staatsoper during 1923-1934. Born to a language teacher in Vienna, he was orphaned at age seven and raised first by his maternal grandparents in Prague and then by an aunt in Vienna. It was by way of performances of the Mahler-directed Court Opera (Hofoper) that he formed his love for music.* In 1908 he went to Prague, ostensibly to study philosophy and art history; in fact, he attended the music conservatory. In 1911 he won a prize for a symphonic poem and was appointed Assistent at Prague s German Theater. Lured to Darmstadt in 1912, he remained as third conductor for seven years. Further appointments, as first conductor, took him to several German cities. Soon after his Berlin debut in August 1923, he became music director of the famed Staatsoper on Unter den Linden.
   With a fanatical dedication to precision, Kleiber studied scores assiduously and rehearsed tirelessly; he premiered Alban Berg s Wozzeck in 1925 after 137 rehearsals. Although he was fond of promoting avant-garde composers (Wozzeck introduced modern opera to Berlin), he was most famous as the conductor of Beethoven, Mozart, Verdi, and Richard Strauss.* Nonsentimental, he refused to indulge romantic interpretation. Despite his strict demands, his vocal and in-strumental musicians were devoted to him. The critic Walter Schrenk was rep-resentative when he wrote, "What a valuable possession we have in Erich Kleiber. In view of the ignorant and incompetent attacks to which he has been subjected, it must be stressed once again that since the time of Gustav Mahler only a very few German opera conductors have emerged with anything ap-proaching Kleiber s creative power (Russell). Worldwide recognition brought tours of Europe, the United States, and Latin America. In addition to the opera, he regularly conducted Berlin s Staatskapelle (State Choir).
   Unwilling to compromise with the NSDAP, he resigned in December 1934 when the Nazis denounced Berg's Lulu; he had just conducted the premiere of the opera s suite. A nomadic period—including stints in Prague, London, Salz-burg, Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels but, revealingly, not Vienna—consumed his next few years. Attracted to Latin America—he already had a home in Buenos Aires—he renounced his Austrian nationality in 1938, became an Ar-gentine citizen, and directed Argentina's Deutsche Oper am Teatro Colon from 1939 to 1949. He spent his last years in Europe.
   REFERENCES:NDB, vol. 11; New Grove, vol. 10; Russell, Erich Kleiber.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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  • Kleiber, Erich — born Aug. 5, 1890, Vienna, Austria died Jan. 27, 1956, Zürich, Switz. Austro Hungarian conductor. After his Prague debut in 1911, he held a series of posts that led him to the Berlin State Opera, where he was music director from 1923 to 1934.… …   Universalium

  • Kleiber, Erich — (5 ago. 1890, Viena, Austria–27 ene. 1956, Zürich, Suiza). Director de orquesta austrohúngaro. Después de su debut en Praga en 1911, desempeñó una serie de cargos que lo llevaron a la ópera del estado de Berlín, donde fue su director musical… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Erich — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Prénom comme Éric en Allemand Erich Abraham Erich Auerbach Erich Bärenfänger Erich Bautz Erich Beer Erich Carl Walter Erich Dethleffsen Erich Eliskases …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Erich — (as used in expressions) Correns, Carl Erich Fromm, Erich Honecker, Erich Hornbostel, Erich (Moritz) von Kleiber, Erich Korngold, Erich Wolfgang Ludendorff, Erich Mendelsohn, Erich …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Erich Kleiber (Schauspieler) — Erich Kleiber (* 12. November 1929 in Troppau; † 11. Dezember 1985) war ein deutsch österreichischer Schauspieler, Kabarettist, Theaterregisseur und Synchronsprecher. Leben Erich Kleiber spielte ab seinem sechsten Lebensjahr Kinderrollen am… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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