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Hungarian Conductor Fritz Reiner Died in 1963

Frederick Martin Reiner was a prominent Hungarian-American conductor known for his precision, technical mastery, and demanding approach to orchestral performance


Hungarian conductor Fritz Reiner died on this day in 1963 – aged 74.

Reiner was born in Budapest, Hungary. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Budapest, where his primary instrument was the piano. During his last two years he learnt from Bela Bartok.

Reiner began his career as a conductor in Europe, working at various opera houses and orchestras. He served as a conductor at the Dresden State Opera, among other positions. With the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany, Reiner, who was of Jewish descent, left Europe and emigrated to the United States in 1922. In the U.S., Reiner quickly gained recognition for his exceptional conducting skills. He was first offered the position of Principal Conductor with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In 1938 he became the conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and later served as the music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1949 to 1953. Reiner gained international recognition when he became the director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1953.

He made numerous recordings, many of which are highly regarded for their clarity, precision, and attention to detail. His recordings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, especially of the standard orchestral repertoire, are considered benchmarks.

Reiner also taught conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (1931–41) where his pupils included Bernstein and Lukas Foss.




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