Wolfgang Sawallisch

Biography

Born: August 26, 1923; Munich, Germany   Died: February 22, 2013; Grassau, Germany  
Born in Munich in 1923, Wolfgang Sawallisch was a prominent representative of the German conducting tradition, known for his thoughtful and refined interpretations of the classical repertoire. Beginning piano studies when he was five, Sawallisch developed rapidly as a child musician. His piano teachers were Ruoff, Haas, and Sachse. In 1947, following graduation from the Munich Hochschule für Musik, Sawallisch began his professional career, Read more working first as a repetiteur and chorus master at the Augsburg Opera Theater. In 1949, he and his recital partner, violinist Gerhard Seitz, won the Geneva International Competition as best duo. In the same year, he began obtaining guest conducting assignments. When Sawallisch conducted the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1953, he was the youngest person ever to have led that orchestra. That year, he became General Music Director at Aachen, and this appointment made him the youngest music director in Germany. He remained in Aachen until 1958, when he moved to a similar position in Wiesbaden, staying there until 1960. From 1960 to 1963, Sawallisch was in Cologne, also teaching conducting at the Conservatory. He made his first Bayreuth appearance in 1957, opening the festival with Tristan und Isolde. Again, he was the Festival's youngest conductor. Also in 1957 he made two debuts in London: one as pianist in a lieder recital with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and the other as a guest conductor with the Philharmonia. He held concurrent appointments as principal conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, from 1960 to 1970, and the Hamburg State Philharmonic, from 1961 to 1973. He made his American debut conducting the Vienna Symphony Orchestra during a 1964 tour. Also in 1964, he made his first appearance guest conducting the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan, and has returned every year to conduct it. He held another pair of concurrent appointments through most of the 1970s: Artistic Director of L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, from 1972 to 1980, and General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, beginning in 1971. Artistic director of the Bavarian State Opera from 1976 to 1977, he became the company's director in 1982. His first appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra was in 1984, part of his busy schedule as a guest conductor. He was appointed its Music Director in 1990, effective at the start of the 1993-1994 season. In 1993, Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra toured Japan, China, and Hong Kong, the first of several acclaimed international tours.

In addition to extensive touring, Sawallisch pursued a busy recording schedule with EMI, programming an intriguing mix of the established classics, major masterworks of the twentieth century, and new music, including compositions by Druckman, Pöntinen, Rochberg, and Ullmann. He led the Philadelphia Orchestra in the first appearance by an American orchestra in Vietnam, and directed the first live Internet performance by an American symphony. Sawallisch regularly conducted Europe's greatest orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and Concertgebouw Orchestra. A winner of numerous awards, Sawallisch performed with such stars as Yefim Bronfman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Frank Peter Zimmermann. As a pianist, Sawallisch accompanied some of the greatest performers of the twentieth century, including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Among Sawallisch's numerous acclaimed recordings is the 1998 video soundtrack of Wagner's entire Ring des Nibelungen cycle with the Bavarian State Opera. Read less

Composer: Richard Wagner

Browse 1-23 of 23 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Orchestermusik / Sawallisch, Bavarian State Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 957188 Release Date: 02/01/2019   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Hans Pfitzner  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Birgit Nilsson: The Great Live Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985392322 Release Date: 09/07/2018   Number of Discs: 31
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Bernhard Sönnerstedt,  Wolfgang Windgassen,  Theo Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Eugen Jochum,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Hans Knappertsbusch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 3.
    Wagner: Tristan und Isolde / Sawallisch, Nilsson, Bayreuth Festrival Orchestra
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 951183 Release Date: 06/08/2018   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Egmont Koch,  Hermann Winkler,  Grace Hoffmann,  Fritz Uhl  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
    CD: $34.99
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  • 4.
    The Art of Grace Bumbry
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4827626 Release Date: 02/24/2017   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Pietro Mascagni,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Dale Blackburn,  Warren Wood,  Don Watts,  Grace Bumbry  ... 
    Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel,  Sir Adrian Boult,  János Kulka,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra,  University Of Utah Combined Choruses,  Whittier School Children's Choir  ... 
    CD: $58.49
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  • 5.
    Richard Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde (Bayreuth, 1957)
    Label: Walhall   Catalog: 213 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    CD: $12.99
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  • 6.
    Richard Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander (Bayreuth, 1961)
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5167 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Anja Silja,  Josef Greindl,  Fritz Uhl,  Res Fischer  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 7.
    Wagner: Tannhauser  / Sawallisch, Windgassen, Fischer-dieskau, Bumbry
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 888143 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Wolfgang Windgassen,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Josef Greindl,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
    CD: $34.99
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  • 8.
    Richard Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5163 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
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  • 9.
    Wagner: Lohengrin / Thomas, Silja, Varnay, Sawallisch
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001895602 Release Date: 09/17/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jess Thomas,  Anja Silja,  Ramon Vinay,  Franz Crass  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 10.
    Wagner: Die Feen; Das Liebesverbot; Rienzi / Sawallisch, Bavarian State Opera [9-CD Set]
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 688139 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  June Anderson,  Linda Esther-Gray,  Krisztina Láki,  Kari Lövaas  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 11.
    The Essential Wagner
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 973399 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Peter Haage,  Nicolai Gedda,  Reiner Goldberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Heger,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Klaus Tennstedt,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 12.
    Wagner: Tannhauser / Sawallisch, Windgassen, Fischer-dieskau, Bumbry
    Label: Myto Records   Catalog: 291 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Josef Greindl,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Grace Bumbry  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 13.
    100 Best Tenor Voices
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 06701 Release Date: 10/06/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Francesco Cilča,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Corinna Vozza,  Adriana Lazzarini,  Rolando Villazón  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini,  Marcello Viotti,  Umberto Berrettoni,  Alain Lombard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 14.
    100 Best Tenor Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 242720 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Peter Haage  ... 
    Conductor:  Jacques Delacôte,  Berislav Klobucar,  Bernard Haitink,  Heinz Wallberg  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 15.
    Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer / McIntyre, Sawallisch
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001099309 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Bengt Rundgren,  Hermann Winkler,  Harald Ek,  Ruth Hesse  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Bavarian State Orchestra
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    DVD: $32.99
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  • 16.
    Cheryl Studer - A Portrait
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55350 Release Date: 06/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Cheryl Studer,  Cyndia Sieden,  Alfred Muff,  Ute Vinzing  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Bernard Haitink,  Jeffrey Tate,  Michel Plasson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian State Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 17.
    The Very Best Of Hildegard Behrens
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86308 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Hildegard Behrens,  Robert Schunk,  David Syrus,  José van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Schneider,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Michel Plasson,  Herbert von Karajan
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 18.
    Opernszenen Vol 1 1965-1976 / Fischer-dieskau
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 544001 Release Date: 08/29/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Paul Hindemith
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Gerhard Stolze,  Kieth Engen,  Leonie Rysanek  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Karl Böhm,  Joseph Keilberth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 19.
    Opernszenen Vol 2 1976-1992 / Fischer-dieskau
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 545001 Release Date: 08/29/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Hugo Wolf,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Anne Salvan,  Robert Swensen,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Gerd Albrecht,  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 20.
    Wagner: Das Liebesverbot / Sawallisch, Hass, Coburn, Et Al
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 345953 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Sabine Hass,  Pamela Coburn,  Robert Schunk,  Hermann Prey  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus
    CD: $34.99
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  • 21.
    Wagner: Rienzi / Sawallisch, Kollo, Studer, Janssen, Et Al
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 346953 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Cheryl Studer,  René Kollo,  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  John Janssen  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus
    CD: $34.99
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  • 22.
    Wagner: Die Feen / Sawallisch, Esther-gray, Moll, Studer
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 62833 Release Date: 12/12/1994   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Linda Esther-Gray,  Krisztina Láki,  Kari Lövaas,  Cheryl Studer  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 23.
    Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms: Overtures / Sawallisch, Bavarian
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 161871 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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