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Rudolf, Max

Rudolf, Max

Rudolf, Max , eminent German-born American conductor and teacher; b. Frankfurt am Main, June 15, 1902; d. Philadelphia, Feb. 28, 1995. He began his musical training when he was 7. He studied cello with Maurits Frank, piano with Eduard Jung, and composition with Bernhard Sekles, and also learned to play the organ and the trumpet. In 1921–22 he attended the Univ. of Frankfurt am Main. In 1922 he became a répétiteur at the Freiburg im Breisgau Opera, where he made his conducting debut in 1923. After working as a répétiteur at the Darmstadt Opera (1923–25), he returned there to hold its post of 1st conductor from 1927 to 1929. From 1929 to 1935 he conducted at the German Theater in Prague. In 1929–30 he appeared as a guest conductor of the Berlin Phil. In 1935 he went to Göteborg, where he made appearances as a conductor with both the radio orch. and the orch. society. In 1940 he emigrated to the U.S. and in 1945 became a naturalized American citizen. He conducted the New Opera Co. in N.Y. before joining the staff of the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. in 1945. On Jan. 13, 1946, he made his first appearance as a conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in a Sunday night concert. His formal debut followed on March 2, 1946, when he conducted Der Rosenkavalier. From 1950 to 1958 he served as artistic administrator of the Metropolitan Opera, and also was active as a conductor there. In 1958 he became music director of the Cincinnati Sym. Orch., a position he retained with distinction until 1969. In 1966 he led it on a world tour and in 1969 on a major tour of Europe. He also served as music director of the Cincinnati May Festival in 1963 and again from 1967 to 1970. From 1970 to 1973 he was head of the opera and conducting depts. at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia. In 1973–74 he was principal conductor of the Dallas Sym. Orch., and he also returned to the Metropolitan Opera as a conductor during this time. In 1976–77 he was music advisor of the N.J. Sym. Orch. In subsequent years, he made occasional appearances as a guest conductor with American orchs. From 1983 he again taught at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Phil a-received the first Theodore Thomas Award for his services to music. He publ. the widely used vol. The Grammar of Conducting: A Comprehensive Guide to Baton Technique and Interpretation (N.Y, 1950; 3rd ed., 1994, with the assistance of Michael Stern). As was to be expected, Rudolf displayed a mastery of baton technique. In his interpretations, he excelled in unmannered performances of the great Austro-German masterpieces.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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