Wolff, Albert (Louis)

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Wolff, Albert (Louis)

Wolff, Albert (Louis), noted French conductor and composer; b. Paris (of Dutch parents), Jan. 19,1884; d. there, Feb. 20,1970. He studied with Leroux, Gédalge, and Vidal at the Paris Cons. From 1906 to 1910 he was organist of St. Thomas Aquinas in Paris. In 1908 he became a member of the staff of the Paris Opéra-Comique; after serving as its chorus master, he made his conducting debut there, leading the premiere of Lapar-ra’s La Jota, on April 26,1911. From 1919 to 1921 he was conductor of the French repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y.; conducted the premiere of his opera L’Oiseau bleu there on Dec. 27,1919. Upon his return to Paris in 1921, he was music director of the Opéra-Comique until 1924; in 1925 he became 2nd conductor of the Concerts Pasdeloup, and then was principal conductor from 1934 to 1940; also was conductor of the Concerts Lamoureux from 1928 to 1934. He toured South America from 1940 to 1945; then returned to Paris, where he was director-general of the Opéra-Comique in 1945-46 and thereafter he continued to conduct occasionally there. At the Paris Opéra from 1949; in addition, he made appearances as a sym. conductor. He particularly distinguished himself as a champion of French music of his era; he conducted the premieres of Debussy’s La Boîte à joujoux, Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges,Roussel’s Sym. No. 4, and Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias.


dramatic: Opera: Soeur Beatrice (1911; Nice, 1948); Le marchand de masques (Nice, 1914); L’Oiseau bleu (N.Y., Dec. 27, 1919). ORCH.: La randonnée de l’âme défunte, symphonie poem (1926); Flute Concerto (1943); Sym. (1951). OTHER: Requiem for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1939); other vocal music; chamber pieces; film music.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Wolff, Albert (Louis)

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