German Conductors in America

Three German conductors are having their homecoming. Wolfgang Sawallisch, Christoph von Dohnanyi, and Kurt Masur are taking their American orchestras to Europe within three weeks. The Philadelphia Orchestra already started its visit to Germany on May 24 with an appearance in Cologne, and both the Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic are coming early in June. All three orchestras are in the group of the so-called "Big Five," which means that a majority of the top five American orchestras is lead by German conductors. They are following an old tradition, as many American orchestras were founded by immigrants from Germany. A hundred years ago, none of the famous American conservatories had been established yet, and German conductors were celebrated as authorities. Today, they are still hired by American orchestras for their knowledge of European repertory, but at the same time, they widen their own horizons in the United States. Georg Hirsch spoke with Sawallisch, von Dohnanyi, and Masur.

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