Damrosch, Leopold

Damrosch, Leopold,

1832–85, German conductor. After taking a degree in medicine, he became (1857) first violinist in the ducal orchestra at Weimar, where he was a friend of Liszt and Wagner. In 1871 he came to New York City, where he founded the Oratorio Society in 1873 and the New York Symphony Society in 1878, conducting both until his death. He introduced (1884) German opera at the Metropolitan, New York City, and led American premières of works by Brahms and Wagner.
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Damrosch, Leopold

(1832–85) conductor, violinist, composer; born in Posen, Prussia. A friend of Liszt and Wagner, he played and conducted widely in Germany before coming to the U.S.A. in 1871. He founded several ensembles including the New York Symphony, conducted pioneering Wagner performances at the Metropolitan Opera, and introduced much music by Brahms and others.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.