René Leibowitz (17 February 1913 – 29 August 1972) was a French composer, conductor, music theorist and teacher born in Warsaw, Poland. During the early 1930s, Leibowitz studied composition and orchestration with Maurice Ravel in Paris, where he was introduced to Arnold Schoenberg's Twelve-note technique by the German pianist and composer Erich Itor Kahn. He subsequently studied with Schoenberg's pupil Anton Webern. Many of the works of the Second Viennese School were first heard in France at the International Festival of Chamber Music established by Leibowitz in Paris in 1947. Leibowitz was highly influential in establishing the reputation of the Second Viennese School, both through activity as a teacher in Paris after WWII and through his book Schoenberg et son ecole, published in 1947 and translated by Dika Newlin as Schoenberg and his School (US and UK editions 1949). This was among the earliest theoretical treatises written on Schoenberg's 12-tone method of composition. Leibowitz's advocacy of the Schoenberg school was taken further by his two most gifted pupils, each taking different paths in promoting the musics of Schoenberg, Webern and the development of serialism, namely Pierre Boulez and Jacques-Louis Monod. His American students include the composers Will Ogdon, Janet Maguire, and the avant-garde film director-animator John Whitney. As conductor, Leibowitz was active in many recording projects. One of the most widely circulated and most notable is a set of the Beethoven symphonies made for Reader's Digest Recordings; it was apparently the first recording of the symphonies to follow Beethoven's original metronome markings. In choosing this approach, Leibowitz was influenced by his friend and colleague Rudolf Kolisch. Leibowitz likewise made many recordings for Reader's Digest in their various compilation albums. He also wrote for Les Temps modernes, applying existentialist ideas to musicology.
Jan Walter Susskind (1 May 1913 – 25 March 1980), was a Czech-born British conductor. Susskind was born in Prague, Austria–Hungary, now the Czech Republic. His father was a Viennese music critic and his Czech mother was a piano teacher. At the State Conservatorium he studied under composer Josef Suk, the son-in-law of Antonín Dvořák. He later studied conducting under George Szell. Susskind fled Prague on 13 March 1939 two days before the German invasion. With the help of a British journalist and consular officials, Susskind arrived in the United Kingdom as a refugee. He formed the Czech Trio, a chamber ensemble in which he was the pianist. Encouraged by Jan Masaryk, the Czech ambassador in London, the trio obtained many engagements. In 1942 he joined the Carl Rosa Opera Company as a conductor, working with singers such as Heddle Nash and Joan Hammond. In 1944 he made his first recording for Walter Legge of EMI conducting Liu’s arias from Turandot with Hammond. After the war, Susskind became a naturalised British citizen, and though he spent much of his subsequent career outside Britain he said he would never dream of giving up his British citizenship. His first appointment as musical director was to the Scottish Orchestra where he served from 1946 to 1952. From 1953 to 1955 he was the conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (then known as the Victorian Symphony Orchestra). After free-lancing in Israel and South America he was appointed to head the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 1956 to 1965. From 1968 to 1975 he was conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. In 1971 he opened the New York City Opera’s season with The Makropulos Affair. Susskind died in Berkeley, California at the age of 66.
Night on the Bare Mountain (orchestrated by Leibowitz)
Pictures at an Exhibition (orchestrated by Ravel)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Night on the Bare Mountain (orchestrated by Rimsky-Korsakov)