Otmar Suitner

Biography

Born: May 16, 1922; Innsbruck, Austria  
Otmar Suitner is archetypical of the type of Central European conductor who comes up through the ranks (i.e., opera house, theater, or if an instrumentalist, house orchestra) and works his way up to leadership by dint of musicality. Some move on to what is essentially international "stardom," such as the case with Karajan or Klemperer. Others settle into a localized niche, but extend their reputation past national boundaries via Read more recording prowess, often through a varied series of ensembles. In this manner, Suitner's star has ascended, the dawn of the digital era being a boon to his recognition even though he ceased conducting in the 1990s due to illness.

Otmar Suitner was born in the picturesque backdrop of the Tyrol. His father was a native and his mother was Italian, who most likely nourished his affinity for opera. In his teens, Suitner began piano studies under Weidlich at the Innsbruck Conservatory and continued the same under Ledwinka at the Salzburg Mozarteum from 1940-1942, also studying conducting with Clemens Krauss at that institution. Upon completion of studies, the young man became Kapellmeister at the Innsbruck Theatre and moved through a number of both opera and orchestra positions, including Remscheid (1952), Ludwigshaven (1957), the Rhineland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra (1957) the Dresden State Opera (1960-1964), and the Berlin State Opera (1964-1971, continuing 1973-1990). He became a fixture at Bayreuth, working closely with Wieland Wagner on the 1965 Der fliegende Holländer and the Ring cycle for 1966 and 1967. In opera, he distinguished himself in Mozart, Wagner, and Strauss, bringing to those composers a litheness and protean energy not usually associated with the Austro-German school of interpretation. His predilection for lightness can be divined from his arrangement of Der Rosenkavalier for small orchestra performance. No complacent traditionalist, Suitner has also been a fervent advocate of Dessau, conducting the premieres of that composer's operas Puntila (1966), Einstein (1973), and Leonce und Lena (1979). In 1969, he became a guest conductor with the San Francisco Opera Company and in the following decade was a frequent podium visitor in Japan, receiving honorary conductorship of the Tokyo NHK Symphony Orchestra in 1973.

The Japanese connection was to stand Suitner in good stead with the emergence of digital recording in the early 1980s. His set of the Beethoven symphonies with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra for Denon was one of the very first sets of the nine to appear. Soon, Suitner was one of the digital pioneers and joined the ranks of conductors who had built a cult by dint of quality recordings, much like Rosbaud, Kegel, Wand, and others. Unfortunately, illness stayed Suitner's hand in the early 1990s and he made a premature retirement from performing and recording. Nonetheless, he retains his devotees and his 80th birthday saw the issue of an 11-CD set on the Edel label representative of his operatic and symphonic artistry. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 154 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Discover Film Classics
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300716 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Paul Dukas,  Yann Tiersen  ... 
    Performer:  Jeroen van Veen,  Douw Fonda,  Theo Adam,  Helena Doese  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Heinz Rogner,  Erhard Mauersberger,  Rudolf Mauersberger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  German Brass,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 2.
    Discover Italian Classics
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300717 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Claudio Monteverdi  ... 
    Performer:  Kristóf Baráti,  Thomas Zehetmair,  Jurgen Abel,  Hans-Werner Watzig  ... 
    Conductor:  Eiji Oue,  Vittorio Negri,  Pieter-Jan Belder,  Helmut Koch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Hannover),  Camerata Bern,  Berlin Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 3.
    Discover Mozart
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300689 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Hermann Prey,  Evelyn Lear,  Thomas Steward,  Annerose Schmidt  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Heinz Fricke,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  C.P.E. Bach Chamber Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 4.
    Discover Opera
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300715 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Ritzmann,  Theo Adam,  Sylvia Geszty,  Ingeborg Springer  ... 
    Conductor:  Manfred Honeck,  Heinz Rögner,  Otmar Suitner,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Chorus  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 5.
    Discover Symphonic Music
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300718 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Maurice Ravel,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Günther Herbig,  Rolf Kleinert,  Otmar Suitner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6.
    Bamberg Symphony: The First 70 Years
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002474902 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff,  Carl Seemann,  Pilar Lorengar,  Gottlob Frick  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Fritz Lehmann,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Richard Krauss  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $52.99
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  • 7.
    Dvorak: Complete Symphonies; Slavic Dances; Overtures; Symphonic Poems
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95297 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Theodore Kuchar,  John Farrer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Ostrava Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 8.
    Dvorak Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95100 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Rudolf Firkusny,  Ruggiero Ricci,  Zara Nelsova,  Marián Lapsansky  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Theodore Kuchar,  Walter Susskind,  Antal Doráti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Ostrava Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 9.
    Pfitzner: Palestrina / Suitner, Deutsche Staatsoper
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95113 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Hans Pfitzner
    Performer:  Dario Süss,  Brigitte Eisenfeld,  Peter Schreier,  Olaf Bär  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus
    CD: $17.99
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  • 10.
    Adagios: The Most Relaxing Classical Music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms & Schubert
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94994 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Misha Goldstein,  Burkhard Glaetzner,  Klára Würtz,  Shoko Sugitani  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Ludwig Güttler,  Theodore Kuchar,  Herbert Blomstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Virtuosi Saxoniae,  Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum Leipzig,  Prima La Musica  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 11.
    Dark Hours: Mystic Moments Of Classical Music
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300613 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gustav Mahler,  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Siegfried Lorenz,  Elka Mitzewa,  Cécile Ousset,  Rosemarie Lang  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Koch,  Otmar Suitner,  Norman Shetler,  Witold Rowicki  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 12.
    Schubert Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94870 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 69
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Suzanne Lautenbacher,  György Pauk,  Peter Frankl,  Walter Hautzig  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  Jörg Faerber,  Andreas Weiser,  Romano Gandolfi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra,  Bell'Arte Trio  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $138.99
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  • 13.
    Mozart: Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 1116167 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 170
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Christian Bach
    Performer:  Margaret Urquhart,  Pieter-Jan Belder,  Marten Boeken,  Remy Baudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap ter Linden,  Paul Freeman,  János Ferencsik,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Mozart Academy,  Musica Amphion,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $224.99
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  • 14.
    I Don't Like Classical Music, But I Really Like This!
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74698 Release Date: 06/17/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Carl Orff,  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Woodhouse,  Paul Meyer,  Kolja Blacher,  Eric Le Sage  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Eduardo Mata,  Gustav Kuhn,  Mark Stephenson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
    On sale!
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    $24.99
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  • 15.
    Paul Dessau Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9440 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Paul Dessau,  Hanns Eisler
    Performer:  Walter Olbertz,  Siegfried Stöckigt,  Roswitha Trexler,  Siegfried Hermann  ... 
    Conductor:  Rolf Kleinert,  Otmar Suitner,  Paul Dessau,  Herbert Kegel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $34.99
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  • 16.
    Schubert: Alfonso und Estrella / Schreier, Mathis, Prey, Suitner
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94689 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Theo Adam,  Hermann Prey,  Edith Mathis,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Weber: Symphonies, Overtures, Concertos / Blomstedt, Marriner, Tortelier
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94698 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Peter Rösel,  Emma Johnson
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Herbert Blomstedt,  Yan Pascal Tortelier,  Gerard Schwarz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $19.99
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  • 18.
    Leopold & Wolfgang Mozart: Toy Symphony, Musical Joke / Koch, Suitner
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94692 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leopold Mozart,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Helmut Koch,  Otmar Suitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Chamber Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle
    CD: $8.99
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  • 19.
    Strauss - Edition Staatskapelle Dresden / Suitner
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 12018 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
    CD: $48.99
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  • 20.
    Hindemith: Orchestral Music / Kegel, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9441 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith
    Performer:  Ludwig Güttler,  Eckardt Königstedt,  Walter Hartwich,  Ralf-Carsten Brömsel  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel,  Otmar Suitner,  Hans Sandig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 21.
    Mozart: Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail / Suitner, Staatskapelle Dresden [Vinyl]
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300529 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Jutta Vulpius,  Wilfried Weschke,  Rosemarie Rönisch,  Hans Kiessler  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
    LP: $98.99
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  • 22.
    Reger: Concertos, Suites, Variations, Sacred Songs, Chamber Music
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94663 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Max Reger
    Performer:  Heinz Schunk,  Karl Suske,  Walter Hartwich,  Annelies Burmeister  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Franz Konwitschny,  Heinz Bongartz,  Herbert Blomstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 23.
    Best Of Wagner
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300345 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich,  Els Bolkestein,  Martin Ritzmann,  Hanne-Lore Kuhse  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Heinz Fricke,  Otmar Suitner,  Hiroshi Wakasugi  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 24.
    11 Kurzopern - The Original Electrola One-Act-Operas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 64314 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Franz Schubert,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Edda Moser,  Peter Brand,  Heidy Forster  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Eberhard Schoener,  Otmar Suitner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    Best Of Beethoven
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300339 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Theo Adam,  Marga Schiml,  Peter Schreier,  Helena Doese  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Herbert Blomstedt,  Heinrich Schiff,  Günther Herbig  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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