Leopold Ludwig          (Berndt W. Wessling)
Item# B1294
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Leopold Ludwig          (Berndt W. Wessling)
B1294. BERNDT W. WESSLING. Leopold Ludwig. Bremen, Carl Schunemann, 1968. 133pp. Discography; Works conducted by Ludwig; Photos; Illus.; mended DJ. (German text)


“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 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.

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 their taking to major foreign venues and festivals.

He also made notable guest conducting appearances. He débuted in the United States at the San Francisco Opera in 1958, frequently returning there through 1968. He led the Glyndebourne 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. His first appearance with the Metropolitan Opera House was in 1970, leading Wagner's PARSIFAL.

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.”

- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com