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Scherchen, Hermann

Scherchen, Hermann (b Berlin, 1891; d Florence, 1966). Ger. conductor and violist. Violist in Berlin PO 1907–10. Worked with Schoenberg 1910–12 helping to prepare f.p. of Pierrot Lunaire, making début as cond. 1911. Cond. Riga SO 1914. Founded Berlin soc. for new mus., 1918. Cond. Frankfurt Museum concerts 1922–4. Dir., Musikkollegium, Winterthur, 1922–47. Mus. dir. at Königsberg 1928–33. Left Ger. 1933, making Switzerland his base. Ardent champion of 20th-cent. mus., especially that of Schoenberg and Webern. Cond., Zurich Radio Orch. 1944–50. Opened EMS at Gravesano, 1954. Amer. début, Philadelphia 1964. Cond. f.ps. of operas by Dallapiccola, Henze, and Dessau, and f.ps. of Berg's Three Fragments from Wozzeck (1924), Chamber Concerto (1927), Der Wein (1930), and vn. conc. (1936). Wrote Handbook of Conducting (1929) and The Nature of Music (1946).

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Scherchen, Hermann

Hermann Scherchen (hĕr´män shĕr´khĕn), 1891–1966, German conductor. Scherchen was largely self-taught. He played viola in the Berlin Philharmonic (1907–10) and made his debut there as a conductor in 1911. Scherchen conducted and taught throughout Europe and gained a reputation as an outstanding exponent of modern music. He was associated with Arnold Schoenberg in the first performances of Pierrot Lunaire (1912). Scherchen made his American debut in 1964 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He wrote Handbook of Conducting (6th ed. 1949) and The Nature of Music (tr. 1950).

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