Schalk, Franz

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Schalk, Franz

Schalk, Franz, noted Austrian conductor, brother of Josef Schalk ; b. Vienna, May 27, 1863; d. Edlach, Sept. 2, 1931. He studied with Bruckner at the Vienna Cons. After making his debut in Liberec (1886), he conducted in Reichenbach (1888–89), Graz (1889–95), and Prague (1895–98), and at the Berlin Royal Opera (1899–1900). He subsequently concentrated his activities in Vienna, where he conducted at the Court Opera (from 1900); when it became the State Opera in 1918, he was named its director; after sharing that position with R. Strauss (1919–24), he was sole director until 1929. He was a regular conductor with the Vienna Phil, from 1901 until his death; also was conductor of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (1904–21). On Dec. 14, 1898, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. conducting Die Walküre, but remained on the roster for only that season. He also conducted Ring cycles at London’s Covent Garden in 1898, 1907, and 1911; likewise conducted at the Salzburg Festivals. He devoted part of his time to teaching conducting in Vienna. A champion of Bruckner, he ed. several of his syms., even recomposing his 5thSym. While Schalk’s eds. were well-intentioned efforts to obtain public performances of Bruckner’s scores, they are now totally discredited. L. Schalk ed. his Briefe und Betrachtungen (Vienna, 1935).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire