(1876 – February 17)
German born, Bruno Schlesinger dropped his Jewish surname when he was twenty and thereafter went under the name of Bruno Walter. A gifted musician, he first played the piano publically when he was 9 years of age and his early ambition was to be a composer.
He later became closely associated with Gustav Mahler and mentored by Mahler, became an avid proponent of his works.
After an early career with the Cologne Opera and Hamburg Opera, he moved around Europe and while retaining a post at the Statssopera in Berlin appeared in Moscow and in London.
He conducted the premier productions of Erich Korngold's operas, "Violanta", and "Der Ring des Polykrates" – and also Hans Pfitzner's "Palestrina". In 1920 he conducted the premiere of Walter Braunfels' "Die Vögel".
He moved to the USA in 1923 and worked with many of the pre-eminent orchestras while fulfilling various European engagements and making numerous recordings. He became particularly well known for his later recordings which were to become some of the first to be released in stereophonic sound.
Bruno Walter died of a heart attack in his Hollywood home in 1962.