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Erich Kleiber (Conductor)

Born: 5th August 1890, Vienna

Died: 27th January 1956, Zurich

Nationality: Austrian

Erich Kleiber was an Austrian, later Argentine, conductor, known for his interpretations of the classics and as an advocate of new music.

Kleiber was born in Vienna, and after studying at the Prague Conservatory, he followed the traditional route for an aspiring conductor in German-speaking countries of the time, starting as a répétiteur in an opera house and moving into conducting in increasingly senior positions. After holding posts in Darmstadt (1912), Barmen-Elberfeld (1919), Düsseldorf (1921) and Mannheim (1922) he was appointed in 1923 to the important post of musical director of the Berlin State Opera.

In Berlin, Kleiber's scrupulous musicianship and enterprising programming won him a high reputation, but after the Nazi Party came to power in Germany in 1933, he resigned in protest against its oppressive policies, and left the country, basing himself and his family in Buenos Aires. For the rest of his career he was a freelance, guest conducting internationally in opera houses and concert halls.

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