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Adler, Kurt Herbert

Adler, Kurt Herbert

Adler, Kurt Herbert, notable Austrian-American conductor and operatic administrator; b. Vienna, April 2, 1905; d. Ross, Calif., Feb. 9, 1988. He studied at the Vienna Academy of Music and the Univ. of Vienna. He made his debut as a conductor at the Max Reinhardt Theater in Vienna in 1925, and subsequently conducted at the Volksoper there, as well as in Germany, Italy, and Czechoslovakia. He served as assistant to Toscanini at the Salzburg Festival in 1936. As Hitler moved upon central Europe, Adler moved to the U.S., and from 1938 to 1943 was on the staff of the Chicago Opera; he subsequently was appointed choirmaster (1943), artistic director (1953), and general director (1956) of the San Francisco Opera. After his retirement in 1981, he was made general director emeritus. Under his direction, the San Francisco Opera prospered greatly, advancing to the foremost ranks of American opera theaters. In 1980 he was awarded an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II of England.


K. Lockhart, ed., The A. Years (San Francisco, 1981).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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