Leopold Ludwig


Born: January 12, 1908; Witkowitz, Moravia   Died: April 25, 1979; Lüneburg, Germany  
Leopold Ludwig was a leading Austrian conductor. Particularly well known as an opera conductor, he was also one of the first to make stereo LP recordings of symphonies of Gustav Mahler.

He learned piano as a boy and continued to study the instrument at the Vienna Conservatory with Emil Pauer. He began his conducting career in the traditional German manner, working himself up through a number of coaching and then conducting positions
Read more in provincial opera houses in south Germany and in Brno, Czechoslovakia.

He became the Music Director of the Oldenburg Staatsoper (State Opera) in 1936. Frequent guest conducting appearances in Berlin brought him to national attention, leading to his appointment as Principal Conductor of the Vienna Staatsoper in 1939. He became Principal Conductor of the Berlin Städtische Oper in 1943. After the war he continued in that position until 1951, and also frequently conducted at the Berlin Staatsoper. ("Städtische" means "Municipal"; the prefix "Staats-" means "State." The Berlin Städtische Oper is now the Deutsche Opera Berlin.)

In 1950, Ludwig was appointed General Music Director of the Hamburg Staatsoper, effective 1951. This was the base for his expanding international reputation, and he remained there until 1971. He was an active and effective administrator, and improved its artistic and musical standards. In 1952, he took it on an important festival visit, to the Edinburgh Festival in the United Kingdom, beginning a practice of taking to major foreign venues and festivals. (Another of the company's most important overseas visits was to the Lincoln Center Festival in New York in 1967). He also modernized and broadened the company's repertory.

He also made notable guest conducting appearances. He debuted in the United States at the San Francisco Opera in 1958, frequently returning there through 1968. He led the Glyndebourne (England) Festival Opera's first production of Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier in 1959. He championed Paul Hindemith's opera Mathis der Maler in a series of performances in 1967, though a series of cuts he made in it were considered questionable. His first appearance with the Metropolitan Opera House in New York was in 1970, leading Wagner's Parsifal.

He conducted in concerts with many leading orchestras. With the London Symphony Orchestra he made a pioneering recording of Mahler's Ninth Symphony, and conducted such leading orchestras as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra. He was known for his calm platform demeanor and lack of flashiness. He was always praised for his competence and way with balancing orchestral sounds to make outstanding effects, though some detractors sometimes rated him as highly competent and sometimes less than inspired. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 25 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $145.99
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  • 2.
    Great Wagner Singers [6-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826302 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Sieglinde Wagner,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Wilhelm Pitz,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Richard Kraus  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 3.
    Berg: Lulu / Ludwig, Rothenberger, Unger, Borg, Meyer
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 123302 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Kim Borg,  Erwin Wohlfahrt,  Kerstin Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto Nos 4 & 5
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1367 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
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  • 5.
    Voices Of German Opera
    Label: Warner 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  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 6.
    Liszt: Piano Concertos No 1 & 2, Hungaria, Les Preludes / Ludwig, Foldes
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2381 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Andor Foldes
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig,  Ferdinand Leitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Piano & Cello Masterpieces
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10105 Release Date: 11/19/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Pablo Casals,  Mieczyslaw Horszowski,  Shura Cherkassky
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Leopold Ludwig,  Richard Kraus
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  • 8.
    Icon - Emil Gilels
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 29511 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Leopold Ludwig,  André Vandernoot,  André Cluytens  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Society of the Conservatory Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $69.99
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  • 9.
    Handel: Water Music / Dieter Kober, Chicago Chamber Orch
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: 8042 Release Date: 06/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Dieter Kober,  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Chamber Orchestra,  Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen Scenes / Varnay, Windgassen
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423720 Release Date: 04/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Astrid Varnay,  Wolfgang Windgassen
    Conductor:  Hermann Weigert,  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Icon - Hans Hotter - The Great Bass-Baritone
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 64901 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Sidney Sutcliffe,  Geraint Jones,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Bernard,  Herbert von Karajan,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Meinhard von Zallinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus  ... 
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  • 12.
    The Record of Singing Vol 5 - From the LP to the Digital Era
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28949 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Luciana Serra,  Neil Shicoff,  Alain Vanzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Georges Prêtre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 13.
    Cult Opera of the 1970s / Hamburg State Opera
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101261 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gian Carlo Menotti,  Alban Berg,  Richard Wagner,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  William Workman,  Kurt Marschner,  Raymond Wolansky,  Ursula Boese  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthias Kuntzsch,  Bruno Maderna,  Leopold Ludwig,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Children's Chorus,  Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $118.99
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  • 14.
    Christa Ludwig - Arias & Scenes - Live Recordings 1955-1994
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 758083 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Hans Pfitzner  ... 
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Ludwig Welter,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Karl Dönch  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Alberto Erede,  Herbert von Karajan,  Georges Prêtre  ... 
    CD: $54.49
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  • 15.
    Wagner: Opera Arias and Duets / Nilsson, Hotter
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 9703 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Hans Hotter
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 16.
    Lawrence Winters - Leoncavallo, Verdi, Gershwin, Schubert
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10397 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Franz Schubert,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Lawrence Winters,  Gerhard Gregor,  Sylvia Olden-Lee,  Anneliese Rothenberger
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig,  George Singer,  Harry Hermann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra,  North German Radio Chorus Hamburg
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 17.
    Beethoven: Fidelio / Ludwig, Cassilly, Silja
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101275 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ernst Wiemann,  Lucia Popp,  Richard Cassilly,  Anja Silja  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg State Opera Chorus,  Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 18.
    Hindemith: Cardillac, Mathis Der Maler Excerpts / Keilberth
    Label: Dg 20th Century Classics   Catalog: 431741 Release Date: 04/17/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Willi Nett,  Elisabeth Söderström,  Eberhard Katz  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Chorus,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 359 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Adriana Martino,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Suzanne Danco,  Anton Dermota
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi,  Leopold Ludwig
    CD: $9.99
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  • 20.
    Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg / Ludwig, Tozzi
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101273 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Richard Cassilly,  Ernst Wiemann,  Toni Blankenheim,  Giorgio Tozzi  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg State Opera Chorus,  Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Wagner, Schubert / Walter, Ludwig, Nilsson, Hotter, Moore
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 334 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Hans Hotter,  Gerald Moore
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig,  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Opera Arias & Orchestral Songs / Peter Anders
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463677 Release Date: 10/23/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Albert Lortzing  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Anders
    Conductor:  Fritz Lehmann,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Franz Marszalek  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Württemberg State Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 23.
    Les Introuvables Du Chant Wagnèrien
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 64008 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Emanuel List,  Fritz Wolff,  Alexander Kipnis,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Conductor:  Eduard Mörike,  Siegfried Wagner,  Robert Heger,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $39.98
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  • 24.
    Joseph Greindl
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90124 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Charles Gounod,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Greindl
    Conductor:  Fritz Lehmann,  Fritz Rieger,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Württemberg State Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 25.
    Humperdinck: Hänsel Und Gretel; Weber: Abu Hassan / Rother
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90209 Release Date: 07/18/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Margarethe Arndt-Ober,  Elisabeth Waldenau,  Hanns-Heinz Nissen,  Hildegard Erdmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Mozart Choir  ... 
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