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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 recording Read more 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
Schubert: Alfonso und Estrella / Schreier, Mathis, Prey, Suitner
Release Date: 11/19/2013   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94689   Number of Discs: 3
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Pfitzner: Palestrina / Suitner, Schreier, Lorenz, Nossek
Release Date: 01/04/1994   Label: Berlin Classics  
Catalog: 1001   Number of Discs: 3
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Schubert: Alfonso und Estrella / Suitner, Fischer-Dieskau
Release Date: 08/23/1994   Label: Berlin Classics  
Catalog: 2156   Number of Discs: 3
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Mozart: Die Hochzeit Des Figaro / Suitner, Berry, Et Al
Release Date: 11/29/1994   Label: Berlin Classics  
Catalog: 2096   Number of Discs: 3
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Dessau: Leonce und Lena / Otmar Suitner
Release Date: 10/01/2005   Label: Berlin Classics  
Catalog: 1074   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 163 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    I Don't Like Classical Music, But I Kinda 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  ... 
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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
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  • 6.
    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  ... 
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    Richard Strauss - Edition Staatskapelle Dresden / Otmar 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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    Dvorak: Complete Symphonies, Orchestral Works
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94671 Release Date: 06/25/2013   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
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  • 11.
    Mozart: Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail / Suitner, Staatsoper & Staatskapelle Dresden [LP]
    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
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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,  Hanne-Lore Kuhse,  Martin Ritzmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Heinz Fricke,  Otmar Suitner,  Hiroshi Wakasugi  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 14.
    11 Kurzopern - The Original Electrola One-Act-Operas
    Label: Emi 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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    Best Of Mozart
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300338 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Hermann Prey,  Annerose Schmidt,  Peter Schreier,  Theo Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Kurt Masur,  Siegfried Kurz,  Herbert Kegel  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 17.
    Kinderklassik: Classical Music For Children, Vol. 2
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300347 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Claude Debussy,  Albert Lortzing  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Rösel,  Hans Sotin,  Georgine Resick,  Gerhard Erber  ... 
    Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Bernhard Klee,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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  • 18.
    Winter Classics: Klassische Musik Zum Kuscheln
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300194 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Rösel,  Erwin Kretzschmar,  Rolf-Dieter Arens,  Dieter Zechlin  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel,  Otmar Suitner,  Helmut Koch,  Heinz Rögner  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 19.
    Winter Classics: Klassische Musik Zum Verfuhren
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300195 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Franz Schubert,  César Franck,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Joachim Ulbricht,  Johannes Walter,  Jutta Zoff,  Peter Rösel  ... 
    Conductor:  Jörg-Peter Weigle,  Helmut Koch,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Otmar Suitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rosamunde Quartet
    CD: $9.99
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  • 20.
    Popular Opera Arias
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300250 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Hermann Prey,  Ruth-Margaret Pütz,  Franz Crass,  Annelies Burmeister  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Siegfried Kurz,  Giuseppe Patané,  Horst Stein  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    Sensual Classics: Escape
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300256 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Franz Schubert,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Eckart Haupt,  Cécile Ousset,  Kurt Mahn
    Conductor:  Heinz Rögner,  Herbert Blomstedt,  Willi Boskovsky,  Peter Schreier  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 22.
    Sensual Classics: Reverie
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300257 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Louis Spohr,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Elfrun Gabriel,  Valentin Gheorghiu,  Arthur Bauer,  Richard Waage  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel,  Jörg-Peter Weigle,  Otmar Suitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Octet,  Ma'alot Quintett
    CD: $9.99
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  • 23.
    Kinderklassik: Classical Music For Children
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300243 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Olivier Messiaen,  Claude Debussy,  Leopold Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair,  Siegfried Stöckigt,  Werner Tast,  Peter Rösel  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Zehetmair,  Helmut Koch,  Kurt Masur,  Günther Herbig  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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  • 24.
    Hermann Prey - Arias And Songs
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300223 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Franz Schubert,  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Hermann Prey
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Kurt Sanderling,  Kurt Thomas
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    Peter Schreier: Songs And Arias
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300222 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Cornelius,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Albert Lortzing,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Karl-Dietfried Adam,  Peter Schreier,  Walter Olbertz,  Konrad Ragossnig  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Koch,  Siegfried Kurz,  Robert Hanell,  Kurt Sanderling  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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