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Felix Weingartner
Birth: Jun. 2, 1863
Zadar
Zadarska, Croatia
Death: May 7, 1942
Zurich
Zürich, Switzerland

Conductor, Composer. More properly styled Paul Felix von Weingartner, Edler von Munzberg, he had a long career that saw him lead the renowned Vienna Philharmonic and record the first full preservation of Beethoven's Nine Symphonies. Born to a noble family in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was raised in Graz, Austria, from age five, initially studied music with Wilhelm Mayer-Remy, and intending to train in both music and philosophy moved to Leipzig in 1881. Soon deciding to concentrate on music he entered the Leipzig Conservatory where in 1883 he became one of the last students of the legendary grandmaster Franz Liszt. In 1884 Liszt was to arrange production of his first opera, "Sakuntala", at Weimar and that same year he obtained his first conducting job with the Konigsberg Opera. Weingartner served as Kapellmeister at Danzig from 1885 until 1887, then assisted von Bulow at Hamburg, and worked briefly in Mannheim before becoming Kapellmeister of the Berlin Royal Opera and chief conductor of its symphonic presentations in 1891; leaving the Opera in 1898 he moved on to Munich while remaining Berlin's symphonic maestro until 1907. Having bowed at London in 1898 he presented the full Beethoven symphonic cycle at Mainz in 1902, an accomplishment he was soon to repeat in Paris and London, and in 1905 made his New York Philharmonic debut. Chosen to succeed Gustav Mahler as head of the Vienna Court Opera in 1908 his tenure was brief, though he retained the helm of the Vienna Philharmonic until 1927. Principal Guest Conductor of the Boston Opera from 1911 thru 1914, he held the podium at Darmstadt from 1914 to 1918 and of the Vienna Volksoper from 1919 until 1924, and though a resident of Switzerland from 1924 on was a professor at the Franz Liszt Academy of Budapest during the mid 1920s. Turning his main focus to education after retiring from Vienna in 1927 he taught a sought-after conducting class at the Basile Conservatory while continuing to conduct at the Basile Municipal Theatre. Weingartner took over directorship of the Vienna State Opera in 1934 but stayed in the post for only two years though he remained as a guest of the Vienna Philharmonic thru 1938; he conducted Wagner at Covent Garden in 1939 and at the same time recorded the full Brahms symphonic cycle and, with Emil von Sauer, the two piano concertos of Liszt. He retired for the final time in 1940 and lived out his days at his home in Winterthur, a suburb of Zurich, Switzerland; over his lifetime Weingartner considered himself as much a composer as a conductor, though acceptance of his seven symphonies, his operas, violin concerto, cello concerto, and numerous smaller works has been limited. His contributions as a pedagogue are unquestioned as he not only taught but authored texts on conducting (1895) and the Beethoven symphonies (1906) while editing the complete works of Hector Berlioz and portions of the output of Gluck, Wagner, Beethoven, and others. His time in the studio spanned the years 1910 to 1940, encompassing both the acoustic and electrical eras and preserving the complete Brahms and Beethoven symphonies, the "Symphonie Fantastique" of Berlioz, and pieces by composers as diverse as Bach, Handel, Mozart, Liszt, and Wagner. Today much of his vast legacy remains available on CD. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
Friedhof Enzenbühl
Zurich
Zürich, Switzerland
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Aug 26, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 96022022
Felix Weingartner
Added by: Ruggero
 
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