Bruno Walter

Biography

Born: Sep 15, 1876; Germany   Died: Feb 17, 1962; USA  
Bruno Walter helped to shape the very essence of interpretive style among conductors. He was born Bruno Schlesinger to an average, middle-class Jewish family. His talent was discovered early, and at age nine he entered the Stern Conservatory to study piano, making his debut at 13 with the Berlin Philharmonic. Impressed with Hans von Bülow's handling of the orchestra in Berlin, the boy decided to take up conducting. At age 17 in 1893, Schlesinger Read more made his conducting debut with the Cologne Opera. In 1894, Schlesinger moved to Hamburg and worked under Gustav Mahler, whose influence would prove central to the development of his approach and ideals. After leaving Hamburg, the young conductor worked a succession of provincial European opera houses; in Breslau Schlesinger changed his name to Walter, Schlesinger being too common a surname in Silesia.

In 1900, Walter succeeded Schalk at the Berlin State Opera and made his first recordings, beginning a career that would stretch into the era of stereo and number in the hundreds of titles. He also conducted his first orchestral concert, the featured work being Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique. In 1901, Walter decided he was ready to take advantage of Mahler's open invitation to join the Vienna Court Opera as an assistant. Walter stayed in Vienna until 1913, taking Austrian citizenship in 1911. After Mahler died, Walter mounted the premieres of Das Lied von der Erde (Munich, 1911) and the Mahler Ninth (Vienna, 1912).

In 1913, Walter moved to Munich to lead the Bavarian Court Opera, and this is where his conducting career took wing. He revived the long-neglected Mozart operas, attracted worldwide attention for his careful handling of operas by Wagner and Verdi, and premiered significant new operas by Korngold and Pfitzner. Walter abruptly left Munich in 1923, embarking upon a variety of destinations, including the United States, Great Britain, Paris, Rome, and the U.S.S.R. In 1925, he helped institute the Salzburg Festival and was named musical director of the Berlin Municipal Opera. In 1929, Walter had a falling out with the Berlin management, and departed to succeed Wilhelm Furtwängler at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. When the National Socialists came to power under Hitler in 1933, Bruno Walter was stripped of his post in Leipzig and took refuge in Vienna. He was a guest conductor with the Vienna State Opera and was named musical director of the Vienna Philharmonic in 1935; during this time he also frequently appeared with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. When the Nazis took Austria without firing a shot in 1938, Walter was on the run again, this time to France and the Paris Conservatoire. His stay in France proved brief, as in 1939 Walter escaped to the United States.

Walter settled in Los Angeles, and remained based out of Southern California for the rest of his long life. While Walter's American period is most readily associated with the New York Philharmonic, he conducted a number of American orchestras in these years, especially the Los Angeles Philharmonic, but also the Minneapolis Symphony, the NBC Symphony, and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. After the war, Walter made a number of return visits to Vienna and other European cities, and in London recorded Mahler's lieder with Kathleen Ferrier, his own favorites among his recordings. A heart attack in 1957 caused Walter to curtail his engagements, and he made his official "farewell" appearance in Vienna in 1960 conducting Mahler's Fourth, although his true final engagement was with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in an all-Brahms program given December 4, 1960.

Walter's catalog of original works contains two symphonies, choral works, and a violin sonata; however, all of his endeavors as a composer were completed before 1911. Read less

Browse 1-25 of 182 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Mahler: Symphony No 4 / Bruno Walter, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5041 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Hilde Gueden,  Julius Patzak,  Kathleen Ferrier
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Mozart
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7906832 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Zino Francescatti,  Irmgard Seefried,  Léopold Simoneau,  Jennie Tourel  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Westminster Choir
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  • 3.
    Mozart: Symphony No. 39 - 41 / Walter, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Staatskapelle, Bbc Symphony
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2107 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 4.
    One Chance [original Soundtrack]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301047 Release Date: 01/07/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ennio Morricone,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Neal Cooper,  Paul Potts,  Jan Bengtson,  Per Magnusson  ... 
    Conductor:  David Snell,  Gavin Greenaway,  Henrik Janson,  Ulf Janson  ... 
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  • 5.
    The Music of Gustav Mahler: Issued 78 R.P.M. Recordings on CD, 1903-1940
    Label: Urlicht   Catalog: 5980 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $46.99
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  • 6.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
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    CD: $137.99
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  • 7.
    Das Lied Von Der Erde
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1146 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Kathleen Ferrier,  Julius Patzak
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 9.
    Mahler: Kindertotenlieder, Etc;  Brahms / Kathleen Ferrier
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1153 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Kathleen Ferrier,  Phyllis Spurr,  Max Gilbert,  John Newmark
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Gustav Klimt: Musik Seiner Epoche
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 170286 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg,  Franz Lehár,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Kathryn Harvey,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Gerald Moore,  Frederick Thurston  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter,  Walter Goehr,  Otto Klemperer,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Zurich Radio Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 11.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Mahler Symphonies 1 & 2 - 1942 Live Performances
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1264 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Nadine Conner,  Mona Paulee
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra,  Westminster Choir
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  • 12.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Mahler
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1920102 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Emilia Cundari,  Maureen Forrester,  Mildred Miller,  Desi Halban  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Westminster Choir,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 13.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Bruckner's 4th And 9th Symphonies
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1262 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Voices Of German Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40497 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Edda Moser,  Kurt Moll,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Berislav Klobucar,  Rudolf Moralt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 1068213 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
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  • 16.
    Kathleen Ferrier - In Memoriam
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 725 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Christoph W. Gluck
    Performer:  Kathleen Ferrier,  Giorgio Favaretto
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Bruckner: Symphonies 8 & 9 / Walter, New York Philharmonic, Vienna Phlharmonic
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9092 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 18.
    Kathleen Ferrier - The Complete EMI Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56284 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Kathleen Ferrier,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Gerald Moore,  Nel Duval  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Charles Bruck,  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Netherlands Opera Orchestra,  Netherlands Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 19.
    Kathleen Ferrier - The Complete Decca Recordings [14 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001654200 Release Date: 03/20/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Zoe Vlachopoulos,  Ann Ayars,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Stiedry,  Reginald Jacques,  Boyd Neel,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  Southern Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bach Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Icon - Bruno Walter: The Early Years
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6790262 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Bruno Walter,  Lauritz Melchior,  Alfred Jerger,  Emanuel List  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  British Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    CD: $62.49
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  • 21.
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: ANDRCD9044 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Irmgard Seefried
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 22.
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5020 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  John Brownlee,  Ezio Pinza,  Eleanor Steber,  Charles Kullman  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Mozart: Don Giovanni / Pinza, Rethberg, Walter
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5126 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Herbert Alsen,  Margit Bokor,  Luise Helletsgruber,  Dino Borgioli  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 24.
    Mozart: Symphonies / Bruno Walter, New York Philharmonic, Columbia Symphony
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5048 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 25.
    Mahler: Kindertotenlieder; Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben; Brahms: Four Serious Songs / Ferrier
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1153 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Kathleen Ferrier,  John Newmark
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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