Szell, Georg

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Szell, Georg (b Budapest, 1897; d Cleveland, Ohio, 1970). Hung.-born conductor, pianist, and composer (Amer. cit. 1946). Solo pianist in Mozart conc. at age 10 with Vienna SO and at 17 cond. Berlin PO in one of his own comps. Cond., Strasbourg Stadttheater 1917–18, on recommendation of R. Strauss. Cond., Deutsches Landtheater, Prague, 1919–21, Darmstadt 1921–2, Düsseldorf 1922–4, Berlin 1924–9. Returned to Prague 1930–6. Cond., Scottish Orch. 1936–9. Amer. début 1930, St Louis SO. Settled in USA 1939, teaching at Mannes Sch. Cond. NY Met 1942–6 (début with Salome). Cond. Cleveland Orch. 1946–70, making it one of the finest in world and taking it on int. tours. Salzburg Fest. début 1949. Last Salzburg appearance 1969 (Vienna PO). Noted for his Wagner, Strauss, Mahler, and the classics but outstanding in modern scores. Many stories are told of his amazing memory for mus. and mus. detail and of his caustic wit. Hon. CBE 1963.