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Bing, Sir Rudolf (Franz Joseph)

Bing, Sir Rudolf (Franz Joseph)

Bing, Sir Rudolf (Franz Joseph), prominent Austrian- born English opera manager; b. Vienna, Jan. 9, 1902; d. N.Y., Sept. 2, 1997. He studied at the Univ. of Vienna and took singing lessons. After working at the Darmstadt Landestheater (1928–30) and the Berlin Stàdtische Oper (1930–33), he went to England and joined the Glyndebourne Festival in 1934, where he then was its general manager (1936–49). In 1947 he also helped to found the Edinburgh Festival, which he led as artistic director until 1949. In 1946 he became a naturalized British subject. From 1950 to 1972 he was general manager of the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. His tenure there was a distinguished, if at times controversial, one. His self assurance and acerbic wit added color to his clashes with the board of directors, celebrated artists, and the press. In 1971 he was knighted. He publ. the books 5, 000 Nights at the Opera (N.Y., 1972) and A Knight at the Opera (N.Y., 1981). His last years were blighted by Alzheimer’s disease.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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