Stiediy, Fritz, eminent Austrian-born American conductor; b. Vienna, Oct. 11, 1883; d. Zürich, Aug. 9, 1968. He studied jurisprudence in Vienna and took a course in composition with Mandyczewski. Mahler recommended him to Schuch in Dresden, and he became his asst. conductor (1907–08); he subsequently was active as a theater conductor in the German provinces, and in Prague. He conducted at the Berlin Opera (1916–23); then led the Vienna Volksoper (1923–25). After traveling as a guest conductor in Italy, Spain, and Scandinavia (1925–28), he returned to Berlin as conductor of the Stadtische Oper (1929–33). With the advent of the Nazi regime in 1933, he went to Russia, where he conducted the Leningrad Phil. (1934–37). In 1938 he emigrated to the U.S. and became a naturalized American citizen; conducted the New Friends of Music Orch. in N.Y.; on Nov. 15, 1946, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. conducting Siegfried, remaining on its roster as one of its most distinguished conductors until 1958. As a conductor, he championed the second Viennese School of composition. He was a close friend of Schoenberg; conducted first performances of his opera Die glückliche Hand in Vienna (1924) and his second Chamber Sym. in N.Y. (1940). He also gave fine performances of the operas of Wagner and Verdi.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire