Knappertsbusch, Hans, eminent German conductor; b. Elberfeld, March 12, 1888; d. Munich, Oct.25, 1965. He studied philosophy at the Univ. of Bonn before pursuing musical training with Steinbach and Lohse at the Cologne Cons. (1908-12). He was conductor in Mülheim and served as asst. conductor at the Bayreuth Festivals (1910-12), then conducted in Bochum (1912-13). He was director of opera in Elberfeld (1913-18); subsequently conducted opera in Leipzig (1918-19) and Dessau (1919-22). In 1922 he became Generalmusikdirektor of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, a post he held with great distinction until resigning in the face of Nazi pressure in 1936; then conducted at the Vienna State Opera (1936-45); was also a conductor with the Vienna Phil. (1937-44). After World War II, he returned to Germany and made his home in Munich. He conducted at the Salzburg Festivals (1947-50; 1954-55); was a regular guest conductor with the Vienna Phil. (1947-64) and at the Bayreuth Festivals (from 1951). He was one of the great interpreters of the operas of Wagner and Richard Strauss. The authority and spontaneity he brought to such master-works as Götterdämmerung and Parsifal were extraordinary.
R. Betz and W. Panofsky, K. (Ingolstadt, 1958).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire