Sébastian, Georges (real name, György Sebestyén)

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Sébastian, Georges (real name, György Sebestyén)

Sébastian, Georges (real name, György Sebestyén), Hungarian-born French conductor; b. Budapest, Aug. 17, 1903; d. Le Hauteville, Yvelines, April 12, 1989. He studied with Bartók, Kod´ly, and Weiner at the Budapest Academy of Music (graduated, 1921), then received instruction in conducting from Walter in Munich (1922–23). He conducted at the Hamburg Opera (1924–25) and with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch. (1925–27). After serving as principal conductor at Berlin’s Städtische Oper (1927–31), he went to Moscow as music director of the Radio and as a conductor with the Phil. In 1938 he went to the U.S.; was conductor of the Scranton (Pa.) Phil. (1940–45); also conducted in South America. In 1946 he settled in Paris, where he conducted at the Opéra and the Opéra-Comique; also appeared with the Orchestre National de France. Sébastian became well known for his championship of the Romantic repertoire. He conducted complete cycles of the Brucker and Mahler syms. in France.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire