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Gielen, Michael (Andreas)

Gielen, Michael (Andreas)

Gielen, Michael (Andreas), noted German conductor; b. Dresden, July 20, 1927. His father, Josef Gielen, was an opera director who settled in Buenos Aires in 1939; his uncle was Eduard Steuermann. Gielen studied piano and composition with Erwin Leuchter in Buenos Aires (1942-49). He was on the staff of the Teatro Colon there (1947-50), then continued his training with Polnauer in Vienna (1950-53). In 1951 he became a repetiteur at the Vienna State Opera, and later was its resident conductor (1954-60). He was principal conductor of the Royal Opera in Stockholm (1960-65), a regular conductor with the Cologne Radio Sym. Orch. (1965-69), and chief conductor of the Orchestre National de Belgique in Brussels (1968-73) and the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam (1973-75). From 1977 to 1987 he was artistic director of the Frankfurt am Main Opera and chief conductor of its Museumgesellschaft concerts; also was chief guest conductor of the BBC Sym. Orch. in London (1979-82) and music director of the Cincinnati Sym. Orch. (1980-86). In 1986 he became chief conductor of the South-West Radio Sym. Orch. in Baden-Baden; he also was prof. of conducting at the Salzburg Mozarteum (from 1987). Gielen has acquired a fine reputation as an interpreter of contemporary music; he has also composed a number of works of his own, including a Violin Sonata (1946); a Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Bassoon (1948); Variations for String Quartet (1949); Music for Baritone, Strings, Piano, Trombone, and Percussion (1954); 4 Songs of Stefan George for Chorus and Instruments (1955); Variations for 40 Instruments (1959); Pentaphonie for Piano, 5 Soloists, and 5 Quintets (1960-63); String Quartet (1983); Pflicht und Neigung for 22 Players (1988); Ruckblick, trio for 3 Cellos (1989); and Weitblick, sonata for Solo Cello (1991).


P. Giebig, ed., M. G.: Dirigent, Komponist, Zeitgenosse (Stuttgart, 1997).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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