German and American Conductors

German conductors have always been successfully exported to America - almost as successfully as American pop stars to Germany. Some of the best-renowned orchestras in America, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra, were established by Germans, and German was even the language during rehearsals. Today, German maestri have to learn English before they go to America, but they are still highly represented. German music directors in America include Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic, Wolfgang Sawallisch at the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Christoph von Dohnany who leads the Cleveland Orchestra. On the other hand, there is now an increasing number of American conductors who have taken on German orchestras. Lorin Maazel and James Levine are two American star conductors working in Munich, and there is a new group of American conductors in their mid-fourties who are on their way up while holding positions in Germany. They combine their love for European music with experiences gained in the United States - a country where orchestras are used to surviving with virtually no government support. Georg Hirsch spoke with American and German conductors who have crossed the Atlantic.

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