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Abendroth, Hermann

Abendroth, Hermann

Abendroth, Hermann, prominent German conductor and pedagogue; b. Frankfurt am Main, Jan. 19, 1883; d. Jena, May 29, 1956. He studied in Munich with Wirzel-Langenham (piano), Motti (conducting), and Thuille (composition). In 1903-04 he conducted the Munich Orchestral Soc. In 1905 he went to Lübeck as a sym. conductor (until 1911), and also conducted the City Theater (1907–11). After serving as music director in Essen (1911–15), he was appointed music director of the Gürzenich Orch. and director of the Cons, in Cologne in 1915. In 1918 he was made Cologne’s Generalmusik-direktor. In 1933 the Nazi government removed him from his positions, but in 1934 he was appointed music director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch., succeeding Bruno Walter, who had been removed as a Jew. Abendroth also served as a prof. at the Leipzig Cons. With the collapse of the Nazi regime in 1945, he remained in the Eastern sector of Germany as music director of the Weimar National Theater. In 1946 he was made Generalmusikdirektor there. In 1949 he became chief conductor of the Leipzig Radio Sym. Orch., and then of the (East) Berlin Radio Sym. Orch. in 1953. Abendroth’s willingness to serve the Nazi and East German Communist regimes made him suspect in some circles but there was no denying his distinction as an interpreter of the Austro-German masters.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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