Jochum, Eugen, eminent German conductor, brother of Georg Ludwig Jochum and Otto Jochum , and father of (Maria) Veronica Jochum; b. Baben-hausen, Nov. 1, 1902; d. Munich, March 26, 1987. He began playing the piano at 4 and the organ at 7. After attending the Augsburg Cons. (1914-22), he studied composition with Waltershausen and conducting with Hausegger at the Munich Academy of Music (1922-25). He commenced his career as a répétiteur at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and in Mönchengladbach, appearing as a guest conductor with the Munich Phil, in 1926. He then was a conductor at the Kiel Opera (1926-29) and conducted the Lübeck sym. concerts. After conducting at the Mannheim National Theater (1929-30), he served as Generalmusikdirektor in Duisburg (1930-32); then was music director of the Berlin Radio and a frequent guest conductor with the Berlin Phil. From 1934 to 1945 he was Generalmusikdirektor of the Hamburg State Opera. Although his tenure coincided with the Nazi era, Jochum successfully preserved his artistic independence; he avoided joining the Nazi party, assisted a number of his Jewish players, and programmed several works by officially unapproved composers. From 1934 to 1949 he also was Generalmusikdirektor of the Hamburg State Phil. In 1949 he was appointed chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Sym. Orch. in Munich, a position he held with great distinction until 1960. He also appeared as a guest conductor throughout Europe. In 1953 he made his first appearance at the Bayreuth Festival, conducting Tristan und Isolde. He made his U.S. debut as a guest conductor with the Los Angeles Phil, in 1958. From 1961 to 1964 he was co-principal conductor of the Concertgebouw Orch. of Amsterdam, sharing his duties with Bernard Haitink. From 1969 to 1973 he was artistic director of the Bamberg Sym. Orch.; he also served as laureate conductor of the London Sym. Orch. (1977-79). His many honors included the Brahms Medal (1936), the Bruckner Medal (1954), the Bülow Medal of the Berlin Phil. (1978), and the Bruckner Ring of the Vienna Sym. Orch. (1980); he was also made an honorary prof, by the senate of the city of Hamburg (1949). Jochum became known as an outstanding interpreter of the music of Bruckner; he also gained renown for his performances of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and Richard Strauss.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire