Walter Damrosch

Walter Johannes Damrosch ( born January 30, 1862 in Breslau, † December 22, 1950 in New York) was an American composer and conductor of German origin.


Walter Damrosch was the son of composer and conductor Leopold Damrosch (1832-1885) and was informed of this. Emigrated to the USA in 1871, he played a major role in New York's musical life at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. Due to the illness of his father, who gave him instructions from his sickbed, he conducted on February 11, 1885 "Tannhäuser" at the Metropolitan Opera. In 1887, he was informed in Frankfurt am Main in conducting by Hans von Bülow. From 1885 to 1891 he was assistant conductor at the Met, from 1885 to 1898 and from 1917 to 1921, he succeeds his father at the New York Oratorio Society. As the successor to his father, he took over the management of the New York Symphony Society (later renamed New York Symphony Orchestra ) in the years 1885-1928. From 1894 to 1899 he headed next also has its own opera company ( Damrosch Opera Company ) with German singers who later Damrosch - Ellis Company ..

In the spring of 1887 Walter Damrosch met on a voyage from New York to London Andrew Carnegie. They became friends, and together they developed the idea of ​​Carnegie Hall, whose construction began in 1890. Andrew Carnegie funded the construction of the concert hall and was for many years on for the losses caused to the operation of the house. Since the opening concerts from 1891 ( when he was with the conducting Tchaikovsky shared ) until his last performance with the New York Philharmonic on March 27, 1942, he was 850 times occurred at Carnegie Hall. The Carnegie Hall has now established itself as one of the world's most important stages.

From the brilliant success of George Gershwin's " Rhapsody in Blue" greatly impressed Damrosch commissioned George Gershwin to write for the New York Symphony Society an orchestral work. He said to a piano concert and received the guarantee of seven appearances as a soloist in New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore. The premiere of "Concerto in F " was held on December 3, 1925 in Carnegie Hall with the composer at the piano under the guidance of Damrosch instead. Damrosch ( An American in Paris) also conducted the première of Gershwin's "An American in Paris" on December 13, 1928.

Damrosch is especially made ​​a name as a Wagner conductor, but also strove for his American contemporaries such as George Gershwin and Aaron Copland. In 1921 he co-founded the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau.

As a consultant on NBC from 1927-47, he was one of the pioneers of broadcasting in classical music. With his greeting " Good morning, my dear children ," he has made ​​known to an entire generation of Americans with classical music. He also introduced concerts on Sunday afternoons, which should enable the working population to participate.

Damrosch married on May 17, 1890 Margaret Blaine ( 1867-1949 ), the daughter of politician and presidential candidate James G. Blaine. They had four daughters: Alice, Margaret ( Gretchen ), Leopoldine and Anita.


Dramatic: Operas:

  • The Scarlet Letter (Boston, February 10, 1896)
  • The Dove of Peace, comic opera (Philadelphia, October 15, 1912)
  • Cyrano de Bergerac (New York, February 27, 1913, revised 1939)
  • The Man without a Country ( May 12, 1937)
  • The Opera Cloak (New York., November 3, 1942 )

Incidental Music To:

  • Euripides' lphigenia in Aulis (Berkeley, 1915) and Medea (Berkeley, 1915);
  • Sophocles ' Electra (New York, 1917)

Other music:

  • Manila Te Deum (New York, 1898)
  • At Abraham Lincoln Song for Baritone, Chorus, and Orchestra (1935 )
  • Dunkirk for Baritone, Men's Chorus, and Chamber Orchestra (NBC, May 2, 1943)
  • Chamber music and songs. " Danny Deever " from Rudyard Kipling 's Barrack - Room Ballads is one of the most famous songs Damrosch.