Christoph von Dohnányi

Biography

Born: September 8, 1929  
Christoph von Dohnányi gained renown as one of the world's most versatile conductors in the last decades of the twentieth century and beyond, earning particular distinction for his interpretations of Romantic music and that of the Second Viennese School. The grandson of the well-known Hungarian composer Ernst von Dohnányi (1877-1960), Dohnányi studied the piano in his youth. Both his personal life and his musical education were disrupted by World Read more War II; his father and his uncle, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, were executed by the Nazis for their complicity in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

After the war, Dohnányi studied law at the University of Munich and entered the Munich Musikhochschule in 1948, taking the institution's top prize in composition and conducting within a few years. He traveled to the United States to study music with his grandfather, who had emigrated to Florida in 1949 and was the composer-in-residence at Florida State University in Tallahassee. In a rite of passage for conductors of his generation, Dohnányi also made the pilgrimage to the Tanglewood Music Center to study conducting with Leonard Bernstein.

He returned to Germany and in 1952 assumed posts at the Frankfurt Opera, then under the leadership of Georg Solti. His career continued apace with posts as Generalmusikdirektor in Lübeck (1957-1963) and Kassel (1963-1969), chief conductor of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra (1964-1969), director of the Frankfurt Opera (1968-1977), and Intendent and Principal Conductor of the Hamburg State Opera (1978-1984). Highlights of his career to that point include conducting the world premieres of two of Henze's operas, Der Junge Lord in 1965 and Die Bassariden in 1966. A full schedule of guest engagements included concerts with the great orchestras of Europe and operas at Covent Garden, La Scala, the Metropolitan in New York, and elsewhere.

In 1984 he assumed his most influential post, as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra. With that ensemble, Dohnányi produced a diverse, well-received body of recordings ranging from the music of Mozart and Schubert to that of Ives, Varése, and Lutoslawski. He further honed and maintained the orchestra's razor-sharp sense of ensemble and infused its overall sound with a distinctive warmth. He was succeeded as music director by Franz Welser-Möst in 2002.

In 1997 Dohnányi became principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. He has received numerous honors, including the commander's Cross of the Republic of Austria, Germany's Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit, and the Bartók Prize of Hungary. In 2004 Dohnányi became chief conductor of the NDR Symphony in Hamburg, Germany. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 148 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Teldec - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 643851 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Josef Protschka,  Barbara Bonney,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Rizzi,  Reinbert De Leeuw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 2.
    Great Pianists - Legendary Recordings from Arrau, Cherkassky, Cziffra, Gilels, Katchen
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5114 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Claudio Arrau,  Julius Katchen,  György Cziffra  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Otto Klemperer,  Rudolf Kempe  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Hans Werner Henze: The Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings [16-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873602 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Hans Werner Henze
    Performer:  Ursula Holliger,  Heinz Holliger,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Siegfried Palm  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Werner Henze,  Paul Sacher,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Richard Kraus  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Zurich Collegium Musicum  ... 
    CD: $143.99
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  • 4.
    Strauss: Ariadne Auf Naxos / Magee, Dohnanyi [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108045 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Emily Magee,  Elena Mosuc,  Ruben Drole,  Andrew Ashwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Wagner: Das Rheingold / Dohnanyi, Hale, Schwarz, Gustafson
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001727902 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Iidiko Komlósi,  Gabriele Fontana,  Walter Fink,  Jan-Hendrik Rootering  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Wagner: Der fliegende Hollander / Dohnanyi, Behrens, Hale
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001728002 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hildegard Behrens,  Josef Protschka,  Kurt Rydl,  Uwe Heilmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto; Symphony No. 4 'italian'
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001706902 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Charles Dutoit
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  • 8.
    Stravinsky: The Firebird, Les Noces, Symphony In C, Etc. / Neumann,  Czech Philharmonic, Tokyo String Quartet
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350057 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Tokyo String Quartet,  Prague Radio Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 9.
    The Olympic Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4667024 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  James Bowman,  Michael Chance
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard,  Louis Martini,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Christoph von Dohnányi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
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  • 10.
    Bruckner: Symphony No. 4
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 256 Release Date: 05/15/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies / Dohnanyi, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 255 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Strauss: Elektra / Johansson, Lipovsek, Diener, Dohnanyi
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107297 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Alfred Muff,  Melanie Diener,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Eva Johansson  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Orchestra,  Zurich Opera House Chorus
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  • 13.
    Strauss: Elektra / Johansson, Lipovsek, Diener, Dohnanyi [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108048 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Rudolf Schasching,  Eva Johansson,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Melanie Diener  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Orchestra,  Zurich Opera House Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 14.
    Richard Strauss Heroines / Nilsson, Price, Della Casa, Gueden, Crespin, Silja
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4805951 Release Date: 03/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Hilde Gueden,  Lisa Della Casa,  Barry McDaniel,  Leontyne Price  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Silvio Varviso,  Karl Böhm,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 15.
    Berg: Wozzeck; Schoenberg: Erwartung / Dohnanyi, Silja, Waechter, Winkler
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001652102 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Performer:  Horst Laubenthal,  Heinz Zednik,  Eberhard Wächter,  Hermann Winkler  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Strauss: Salome / Dohnanyi, Malfitano, Terfel, Schwarz, Braga, Olsen
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001615702 Release Date: 11/21/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Walter Zeh,  Catherine Malfitano,  Bryn Terfel,  Kenneth Riegel  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Beethoven, Chopin: Concertos / Arrau, Klemperer, Dohnanyi
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5045 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 18.
    The Decca Sound - Highlights [5-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001620002 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Béla Bartók,  Benjamin Britten,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Renata Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Franco Capuana,  István Kertész,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir  ... 
    On sale! $77.99
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  • 19.
    The Decca Sound [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619902 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 20.
    Christoph Von Dohnanyi In Rehearsal
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4575 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Brahms: Symphonies 1 & 3 / Dohnanyi, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 250 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2, Rhapsody, Capriccio; Chopin / Rubinstein, Dohnanyi
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5003 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Manuel de Falla
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Bartok, Martinu, Janacek / Dohnanyi, Cleveland
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443173 Release Date: 12/17/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Bohuslav Martinu,  Leos Janácek
    Performer:  Stephen Geber,  Robert Vernon,  Bernhard Goldschmidt,  Daniel Majeske  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 24.
    The Brahms Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564680814 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder,  Thomas Zehetmair,  Hélène Grimaud,  Brigitte Fassbaender  ... 
    Conductor:  Domonkos Héja,  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Juha Kuivanen,  Pedro Halffter-Caro  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danubia Symphony Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    111 - The Collector's Edition 2 [56-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4779142 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Stuart Harling,  Robert Lloyd,  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Nelson,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerzy Semkow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus  ... 
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