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Summary Article: Walter, Bruno
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

German conductor and pianist. He excelled in the works of Mozart and of Romantic composers, especially Mahler, of whose Lied von der Erde and ninth symphony he gave the first performances in 1911 and 1912. As a pianist he accompanied many of the famous singers of his time, including Lotte Lehmann and Kathleen Ferrier, and also appeared as soloist in Mozart's concertos. He published a study of Mahler, an autobiography (Theme and Variations), and three volumes of essays.

Walter studied at Stern Conservatory in Berlin and made his first appearance as a conductor at Cologne in 1894. After appointments as an opera conductor at Hamburg (under Mahler), Breslau, Pressburg, Riga, Berlin, and Vienna (1901–12) he was director of the Munich Opera 1913–22. He conducted the first performances of Pfitzner's Palestrina (1917) and Schreker's Das Spielwerk (1920). He was director of the Städtische Oper, Berlin 1925–33, and of the Gewandhaus concerts in Leipzig 1929–33, in succession to Furtwängler. He first appeared in England in 1909 and was the regular conductor of the German seasons at Covent Garden 1924–31 (productions included Figaro and Rosenkavalier). He was also active during this period as conductor at the Salzburg festival. He was compelled to leave Germany in 1933 and was artistic director of the Vienna Opera 1936–38. After the Anschluss he emigrated to France in 1938 and to the USA in 1939, where he lived until his death. From 1941 he conducted frequently at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, (debut with Fidelio; also Don Giovanni in first season). From 1946 he returned to Europe as a guest conductor, he appeared at the 1947 Edinburgh Festival.

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