Carlos Kleiber

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Carlos Kleiber
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Carlos Kleiber

Carlos Kleiber (July 3, 1930 - July 13, 2004) was an Austrian conductor.

Kleiber was born in Berlin, the son of the conductor Erich Kleiber. As a boy, he moved to Buenos Aires with his father, who had resigned his post at the Berlin Opera in protest over the Nazi Party's policies. He composed and played piano and timpani as a boy, and his musical talents were noted by his father, who nevertheless dissuaded him from pursuing a musical career. He studied chemistry in Zrich, but soon decided to dedicate himself to music. He was repetiteur at the Gartnerplatz Theatre in Munich in 1952, and became kapellmeister at Potsdam in 1954. Between 1958 and 1964 he was kapellmeister at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dsseldorf-Duisberg, and then at the Opera in Zrich from 1964 to 1966. Between 1966 and 1973 he was first kapellmeister in Stuttgart, after which time he never held another permanent post. During the following years he was often seen in the pit at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.

He made his British debut in 1966 with a performance at the Edinburgh Festival of Alban Berg's opera "Wozzeck", a work his father had conducted at its premiere in 1925. He made his Bayreuth debut in 1974 with a performance of Richard Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde. His American debut came in 1978 with a legendary concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and his New York Metropolitan Opera debut in 1988 with performances of Giacomo Puccini's La bohme with Luciano Pavarotti and Mirella Freni in the lead roles.

Kleiber largely kept out of the public eye. After his resignation from the Stuttgart State Opera, his appearances became increasingly less frequent, and he made only a small number of recordings. Almost all those that he made, however, are regarded as very fine recordings, with his versions of Ludwig van Beethoven's fifth and seventh symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra being legendary. Other notable recordings include Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 4 and Franz Schubert's third and eighth ("Unfinished") symphonies, also with the Vienna Philharmonic, recordings of Carl Maria von Weber's "Der Freischtz," Johann Strauss' "Die Fledermaus," Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata" and Richard Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde."

Kleiber's unique conducting style is preserved on video in a number of performances: Beethoven's fourth and seventh symphonies from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Johann Strauss' "Die Fledermaus" from Munich, Richard Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier" from both Munich and Vienna, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 36th symphony and Brahms' second symphony from the Musikverein in Vienna and Beethoven's Coriolan Overture, Mozart's 33rd and Brahms' fourth symphonies from Munich. He led the New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic twice - in 1989 and 1992, and these are both preserved on video.

He effectively retired from concert life in the early 1990s, occasionally appearing to give private concerts or benefit concerts. For one such event, instead of the usual fee, Kleiber received a new Audi made to his specifications. In the opinion of many of his colleagues and audiences who have experienced his meticulously rehearsed but ever spontaneous and inspired performances, this eccentric genius is perhaps the greatest conductor of his generation, despite the paucity of his appearances.

He is buried in a Slovenian village Konjica near Litija (approx. 60 km east from Ljubljana) together with his wife Stanka Brezovar, a ballet dancer, who died 7 months earlier. He is survived by a son, Marko, and a daughter, Lillian.da:Carlos Kleiber de:Carlos Kleiber fr:Carlos Kleiber it:Carlos Kleiber lb:Carlos Kleiber nl:Carlos Kleiber ja:カルロス・クライバー sl:Carlos Kleiber zh:卡洛斯克莱伯

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