Rudolf Kempe: Dvořák Symphony No. 8, Beethoven Prometheus Overture, Strauss Tod und Verklärung

Ludwig van Beethoven,
Richard Strauss,
Antonín Dvořák

Münchner Philharmoniker,
Rudolf Kempe

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Rudolf Kempe (1910–1976) was born near Dresden and in 1930 joined the celebrated Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra as first oboe. After his debut as a conductor in 1935, he joined the German army in 1942 but was ‘retired’ the same year and went back to conducting.

A large number of engagements followed after the War, at the Saxon State Opera, the Dresden Staatskapelle, and as music director of the Bavarian State Opera (1952–1954). Kempe opened the 1951 season at the Vienna State Opera, and appeared at Covent Garden in 1953 (conducting Strauss with enormous success), and later at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1955. He declined to become Covent Garden’s director twice but remained a regular and much-admired conductor at Covent Garden and on the concert platform both in London and on the Continent. He became chief conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (1961–1975) and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1975 until his untimely death in 1976. In Europe, he became chief conductor of the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra in 1965 and in 1966, general music director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.