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Bodanzky, Artur

Bodanzky, Artur

Bodanzky, Artur, famous Austrian conductor; b. Vienna, Dec. 16, 1877; d. N.Y., Nov. 23, 1939. He studied at the Vienna Cons., and later with Zemlinsky. He began his career as a violinist in the Vienna Court Opera Orch. In 1900 he received his first appointment as a conductor, leading an operetta season in Budweis; in 1902 he became assistant to Mahler at the Vienna Court Opera; conducted in Berlin (1905) and in Prague (1906–9). In 1909 he was engaged as music director at Mannheim. In 1912 he arranged a memorial Mahler Festival, conducting a huge ensemble of 1, 500 vocalists and instrumentalists. He conducted Parsifal at Covent Garden in London in 1914. His success there led to an invitation to conduct the German repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y.; he opened his series with Gôtterdam–merung (Nov. 18, 1915). From 1916 to 1931 he was director of the Soc. of Friends of Music in N.Y.; from 1919 to 1922 he also conducted the New Sym. Orch. He made several practical arrangements of celebrated operas (Oberon, Don Giovanni, Fidelio, etc.), which he used for his productions with the Metropolitan Opera. His style of conducting was in the Mahler tradition, with emphasis on climactic effects and contrasts of light and shade.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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