Leinsdorf, Erich

Leinsdorf, Erich

(ĕr`ĭkh līz`dôrf, līnts`–), 1912–93, American conductor, b. Vienna. Leinsdorf studied at the Vienna state academy of music and in 1934 began his conducting career, serving as assistant to Bruno Walter and then to Toscanini at the Salzburg festival. He made his New York debut as an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in 1938, remaining there as Wagnerian conductor until 1943, when he was made conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. He returned to the Metropolitan Opera (1944) for one season and then served (1945–54) as conductor of the Rochester (N.Y.) Symphony Orchestra. After one year with the New York City Opera Company, he again conducted at the Metropolitan Opera until 1962, when he became music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He had enormous success in that position, from which he resigned in 1969.
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Leinsdorf, Erich

(1912–93) conductor; born in Vienna, Austria. After musical studies in Vienna, he became an assistant to Bruno Walter and Toscanini at the Salzburg Festival (1934–37). He came to New York in 1938 to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera and was especially acclaimed for his Wagner. He conducted the Rochester Philharmonic from 1947–56, the New York City Opera and Metropolitan from 1955–62, and the Boston Symphony from 1962–69; the latter were his most notable years. He then guest-conducted widely.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.