Furtwängler, Wilhelm

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Furtwängler, Wilhelm

(vĭl`hĕlm fo͝ort`vĕng-lər), 1886–1954, German conductor, b. Berlin; son of Adolf FurtwänglerFurtwängler, Adolf
, 1853–1907, German archaeologist, authority on ancient vases and gems. He made important excavations at Olympia, Aegina, and Orchomenus and wrote the authoritative Meisterwerke der griechischen Plastik
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. One of the greatest orchestral conductors of the 20th cent., he studied music in Munich, where he grew up. He began his career conducting opera in Lübeck (1911–15) and Mannheim (1915–20). In 1922 he succeeded Arthur Nikisch as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and shortly thereafter also became principal conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic. Furtwängler was a regular conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1925 to 1927 and its permanent conductor in the season of 1937–38. In 1934 he resigned his important posts in Germany when the performance of Hindemith's music was prohibited. In 1935 he returned to conduct the Berlin orchestra.

Furtwängler remained in Germany during World War II and, while he was never a Nazi, his failure to break with the regime led to considerable criticism. After the war he was absolved of a charge of having collaborated with the Nazis. He continued to conduct in Vienna, revived (1951) the Bayreuth FestivalBayreuth Festival,
also called the Richard Wagner Festival, annual season of performances of Wagner's works, held in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth. Around 1851, Wagner began to visualize a festival theater that would be devoted to the performance of great German works for the
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, and retained the position of conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic until his death. He was succeeded in Berlin by Herbert von KarajanKarajan, Herbert von
, 1908–89, Austrian conductor. Karajan began his conducting career in 1927. After World War II his reputation spread through Europe to the United States.
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. Furtwängler was particularly renowned for his interpretations of the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Wagner, and Schumann. He was also a composer, following in the German romantic tradition.

Bibliography

See M. Tanner, ed., Notebooks 1924–1954 by Wilhelm Furtwängler (tr. 1989); biography by C. Riess (tr. 1955); P. Pirie, Furtwängler and the Art of Conducting (1980) and J. Hunt, The Furtwängler Sound (1985).

References in periodicals archive ?
Among them, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Istvan Kertesz and Sir Adrian Boult will be well-known names to classical music fans, as will violinist David Oistrakh and pianist Arthur Rubinstein.
One of the best features of the book is the narration of Schnabel's interactions with some of the leading musical figures of the century, including conversations with Arnold Schoenberg, Erich Korngold, Sir Thomas Beecham, Ernst Krenek, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Leonard Bernstein, and Yehudi Menuhin, as well as an entertaining description of an evening at Alma Mahler's house in Los Angeles.
There is also an amazing description of a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Wilhelm Furtwangler on April 12, 1945, only 18 days before Hitler's suicide in the bunker.
Ubicada en la Alemania de la posguerra Tomar partido refiere la historia de Wilhelm Furtwangler, considerado uno de los mejores directores de orquesta del mundo y que durante el nazismo alcanzo su momento de mayor fama.
But as a Wagnerite, he is no Wilhelm Furtwangler, the great mid-century maestro who in 1944 conducted Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Berlin under an enormous swastika on the occasion of Hitler's birthday: Furtwangler's live recording of Wagner's "Ring" cycle remains the definitive interpretation to this day.
Schoeck had significant interactions with many of the most important performers of the century, such as the conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler and the baritone Dietrich FischerDieskau, who was a life-long champion of Schoeck's lieder (and recorded most of them).
After the war a de-Nazification process faced German musicians like Wilhelm Furtwangler, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, and Herbert von Karajan, who had performed under the Third Reich.
At Sunday's concert with the Bavarian State Orchestra conductor Kent Nagano collected the Wilhelm Furtwangler 2010 prize, celebrating with a Furtwangler "special", the wonderful Seventh Symphony of Anton Bruckner.
The group has not only graced different stages across the globe but it is also remembered by the reputation of their resident and guest conductors, including the likes of Otto Nicolai, Hans Richter, Gustav Mahler, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Sir John Barbirolli, to name a few.
For all the good intent behind its angry debate about whether art can or should be free of politics, "Taking Sides," Harwood's 1995 study of legendary conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler, is curiously undramatic.
Adrian Boult, Otto Klemperer and Wilhelm Furtwangler could not have been accused of it, and von Karajan was content to keep his eyes closed most of the time.
A triumvirate of conductors: Bruno Walter, Mann's first major musical guru, the politically problematic Wilhelm Furtwangler, and, to a lesser extent, the opportunistic Hans Knappertsbusch, comes to the fore in the third major division.