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.


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 ?
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.
In the 20th century the Vienna Philharmonic had important artistic collaborations with Richard Strauss, Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwangler and C after 1945 C with honorary conductors Karl Bohm and Herbert von Karajan.
481-530) by an eclectic range of figures: Hector Berlioz, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Hans von Billow, Ferruccio Busoni, Claude Debussy, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Franz Liszt, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Andre Previn, Elly Ney, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Richard Wagner, and an "Anhang" (or appendix) that includes a bibliography of works cited; a brief catalog of Beethoven's orchestral music; indexes of personal names, of Beethoven's works, and of works by other composers; and biographical sketches of the fifteen contributors.
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.
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.
the Berlin Philharmonic came to the city in 1948, with the world's then most feted conductor, Wilhelm Furtwangler.
I don't have a favorite, but Wilhelm Furtwangler, Reginald Goodall and Ferenc Fricsay (Die Walkure, Myto 12058) all inspired me years ago.
If the fit seems odd - Harris played a coarse American major interrogating the great conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler in Ronald Harwood's ``Taking Sides'' on Broadway in 1996 - consider this: The actor has just completed filming ``Copying Beethoven,'' director Agnieszka Holland's fictionalized account of the composer's final years, scheduled for release next year.
That film was an adaptation of Harwood's own stage play about Wilhelm Furtwangler, the real-life conductor of the Berlin Symphony during the Nazi era who claimed to despise the regime even as he performed for it.