Klee, Bernhard, esteemed German conductor and pianist; b. Schleiz, April 19, 1936. He studied piano and conducting at the Cologne Hochschule für Musik. He began his career as a répétiteur at the Cologne Opera in 1957, and then at the Bern City Theater in 1958 before serving as an assistant to Sawallisch and as a conductor at the Cologne Opera. He held the position of 1st conductor at the operas in Salzburg (1962–63), Ober-hausen (1963–65), and Hannover (1965–66). From 1966 to 1977 he was Generalmusikdirektor in Lübeck. He was chief conductor of the Hannover Radio Orch. from 1976 to 1979. From 1977 to 1987 he was Generalmusikdirektor of the Düsseldorf Sym. Orch., and from 1985 to 1989 principal guest conductor of the BBC Phil, in Manchester. In 1991 he returned to the Hannover Radio Orch. as its chief conductor, where he was named honorary conductor in 1995. He became music director of the Rheinland-Pfalz State Phil, in Ludwigshafen in 1992. In 1998 he became music director of the Phil. State Orch. in Halle. Married to Edith Mathis , Klee served as her accompanist in orch. and recital settings. He is particularly admired for his insightful interpretations of the Austro-German repertoire.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire