Erik Ryding & Rebecca Pechefsky: Bruno Walter – A world elsewhere

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Bruno Walter (1876-1962), one of the twentieth century’s greatest conductors, lived a fascinating life in difficult times. This engrossing book is the first full-length biography of Walter in English. Born in Berlin, Walter began his long and eventful career in provincial theaters; his successes there led to positions at the premier opera houses of Berlin and Vienna. Then for a decade he served as Bavarian music director, conducting opera in three theaters and giving symphonic concerts. Erik Ryding and Rebecca Pechefsky tell of Walter’s close friendship with Gustav Mahler, his relations with Thomas Mann and his family, and his romantic involvement with the soprano Delia Reinhardt. Ousted from Germany by the Nazi Party in 1933, he returned to Vienna, where he was artistic director of the State Opera until the Nazis again forced him out. He eventually emigrated to the United States, where he led the New York Philharmonic and other orchestras, developed a deep interest in the writings of Rudolf Steiner, and made touchstone recordings with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra. Erik Ryding is the managing editor of publications at Carnegie Hall. Rebecca Pechefsky is a freelance harpsichordist.

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