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Tchaikovsky. Historical records. Symphony No.6 - Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt
09.03.2013, 03:18

Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt

(5 May 1900 – 28 May 1973)

Born in Berlin, he studied music in Heidelberg and Münster. He was also a composition student with Franz Schreker at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, and received a doctorate in 1923.  He was a repetiteur at the Wuppertal Opera starting in 1923. He held conducting positions at the opera houses of Rostock (1928 - 1931) and Darmstadt (1931 - 1933). He had the post of first conductor at the Hamburg State Opera from 1935 to 1943. In 1944, he was named music director at the Berlin State Opera. In 1945, after the end of World War II, the British military authorities invited Schmidt-Isserstedt (who had avoided joining the Nazi Party) to found an orchestra at the North German Radio in Hamburg. Six months later, he assembled the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra and conducted its first concert in November 1945. He was subsequently the orchestra's first principal conductor. During his years in this role, he became an advocate of music by composers whose music had been outlawed in Germany during the Third Reich: such as Bartók, Stravinsky and Hindemith. His favorite composer, however, was Mozart, and he made several recordings and gave many notable performances of his works. In particular his recordings of Mozart's operas Idomeneo and La finta giardiniera are greatly admired. From 1955 to 1964, he was principal conductor also of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. He conducted memorable[neutrality is disputed]performances of The Marriage of Figaro at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1958, and of Tristan und Isolde at The Royal Opera, Covent Garden in 1962. He made a well-regarded recording of all the Beethoven symphonies. In Germany, he was a noted champion of the music of Tippett. Schmidt-Isserstedt's own compositions included songs, the opera Hassan gewinnt (Rostock, 1928), and works for orchestra. His son was the British record producer Erik Smith. Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt died in Holm-Holstein, West Germany, in 1973.


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74

NDR Symphony Orchestra

Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt

late 1950s


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