Fritz Busch (13 March 1890 – 14 September 1951) was a German
1 Early life
2 Nazi regime
3 Notable recordings
6 External links
Busch was born on 13 March 1890 in Siegen, Province of Westphalia, the
son of a former itinerant musician. His brothers were also
musicians, the violinist
Adolf Busch and the cellist Hermann Busch. He
Cologne Conservatory in 1906, where he studied
conducting with Fritz Steinbach. He was appointed conductor at the
Deutsches Theater, Riga, starting in 1909, and from 1911 to 1912
toured as a pianist. He was then hired as music director for the
Aachen in 1912, and worked there until the beginning of World
War I in 1914, when he enlisted.
At the end of the war he returned to Aachen, where he conducted the
Aachen Municipal Opera. But six weeks later, he was appointed music
director of the Stuttgart Opera. There he became known for his efforts
to increase the breadth of the repertoire including with works of new
composers, such as
Paul Hindemith and Hans Pfitzner. His
performances, including modern stagings and set designs by Adolphe
Appia for Richard Wagner's
Ring Cycle music dramas, added to his
increasing renown. In 1922, he was appointed the music director of
the Dresden State Opera. During his tenure of 11 years there he kept
that organization at the highest level, mounting innovative,
provocative stagings with the help of prominent costume and set
designers. He premiered works by
Richard Strauss (Intermezzo (1924)
and Die Ägyptische Helena (1928)),
Ferruccio Busoni (Doktor Faust
Paul Hindemith (
Cardillac (1926)) and
Kurt Weill (Der
Protagonist, 1926). In 1924 he made his only appearance at the
Bayreuth Festival conducting Die Meistersinger. Upon his arrival, he
decided to attend a chorus rehearsal that was in progress, only to be
dragooned into the tenor section by the chorus master Hugo Rüdel, who
had mistaken him for a member of the choir. His 1932 Salzburg
Festival production of Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which
was designed by
Carl Ebert and sung by a carefully selected cast, was
a highly successful collaboration.
Five weeks after Hitler came to power on January 30, 1933, Busch was
removed from his post at the Dresden State Opera in a politically
motivated dismissal. This March 1933 dismissal was humiliating:
Nazis in the front rows shouted "Out with Busch" at the beginning a
performance of Rigoletto, leading to his replacement as conductor by
Kurt Striegler. The Nazis charged that despite his high salary,
Busch had taken frequent leaves from the opera to accept
guest-conducting invitations elsewhere, although these had been built
into his contract. Not himself Jewish, he counted many Jews
among his friends and was opposed to dictatorship.
He went on to make several tours of
South America before becoming the
music director of the
Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Glyndebourne Festival Opera in England in 1934,
where he made highly distinguished first recordings of Mozart's three
da Ponte operas from 1934 to 1936 (see below). He remained at
Glyndebourne until the outbreak of
World War II
World War II in 1939. He
also conducted at the
Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (1934–36 and
1940–47) and at the
Metropolitan Opera in New York, and from
1934 on with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. also conducted
Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra from 1937 to 1940. Despite
support from German novelist Thomas Mann, he was unsuccessful in
obtaining Swiss citizenship, but in 1936 succeeded in obtaining
Argentinian papers. He resumed the
directorship in 1950 following a healing of breach with the
organization over his failure to cast
Audrey Mildmay for a 1941 New
Opera Company, New York production of
Così fan tutte
Così fan tutte at a time when
she badly needed money. He also conducted at the Met in New York
from 1945 to 1949, and the
Chicago Symphony from 1948 to 1950.
After the war, he also returned to work in
He was a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international
professional music fraternity.
He was the brother of distinguished violinist Adolf Busch and
cellist Hermann Busch, who made definitive recordings of Mozart,
Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Dvorak and Reger with their
formidable Busch String Quartet. He was married to Margarete Boettcher
Busch. His son, Hans Busch, later stage director at the Indiana
University Opera, was born in 1914. He died in
London in 1951.
1935: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Così fan tutte, with the Glyndebourne
Festival Opera, feat. soloists Heddle Nash, John Brownlee, et al. (EMI
Références, Naxos Historical)
1934–1935: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro, with the
Glyndebourne Festival Opera, feat. soloists Roy Henderson, Norman
Allin, et al. (Naxos Historical)
1936: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Don Giovanni, with the Glyndebourne
Festival Opera, feat. soloists John Brownlee, Salvatore Baccaloni, Ina
Souez, Roy Henderson, et al. (Naxos Historical)
1950: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,
Così fan tutte
Così fan tutte excerpts, with the
Glyndebourne Festival Opera, feat. soloists Sena Jurinac, Richard
Lewis, Erich Kunz, Mario Borriello et al. (Guild Historical, Immortal
1951: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,
Idomeneo excerpts, with the
Glyndebourne Festival Opera, feat. soloists Sena Jurinac, Richard
Lewis, Alexander Young et al. (Immortal Performances)
All of these outstanding
excellent-sounding for their day, have been collected and reissued in
one finely transferred nine-disc CD set (Warner Classics).
Fritz Busch discography (in German) 
^ a b c d e f g h Stevenson, Joseph (2012). "Fritz Busch".
allmusic.com. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
^ a b c d e f g h i j Don Michael Randel (1999). The Harvard Concise
Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Harvard University Press.
pp. 100–101. ISBN 978-0-674-00084-1. Retrieved 6 December
^ Michael H. Kater (22 April 1999). The Twisted Muse: Musicians and
Their Music in the Third Reich. Oxford University Press. p. 120.
ISBN 978-0-19-513242-7. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
^ Ib Melchior; Lauritz Melchior (1 June 2003). Lauritz Melchior: The
Golden Years of Bayreuth. Baskerville Publishers, Inc.
pp. 74–76. ISBN 978-1-880909-62-1. Retrieved 11 November
^ Erik Levi (1 February 2011).
Mozart and the Nazis. Yale University
Press. ISBN 978-0-300-16581-4.
^ a b c David Josephson (14 September 1999). "The Exile of European
Music". In Reinhold Brinkmann; Christoph Wolff. Driven into Paradise:
The Musical Migration from Nazi
Germany to the United States.
University of California Press. pp. 92–93.
ISBN 978-0-520-21413-2. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
^ Kater (1999). The Twisted Muse. p. 65. Retrieved 26 October
^ a b c Kater (1999). The Twisted Muse. p. 121. Retrieved 26
^ Kater (1999). The Twisted Muse. p. 79. Retrieved 26 October
^ a b c Kater (1999). The Twisted Muse. p. 123. Retrieved 6
^ Busch, Grete (1970). Fritz Busch: Dirigent. Frankfurt: S. Fischer.
Retrieved 26 February 2014.
Delta Omicron Archived 27 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine., in
the category "Patrons/Patronesses", accessible via the "National"
dropdown menu on the DO website front page.
^ "Mrs. Fritz Busch, 80, conductor's widow". New York Times. 28
^ Tomasini, Anthony (29 September 1996). "Hans Busch, 82, Stage
Director Of the Indiana University Opera". New York Times.
Busch, Fritz (1953). Pages from a Musician’s Life. Translated by
Marjorie Strachey. London: Hogarth Press.
Fritz Busch at AllMusic
Fritz Busch - Profile at The Remington Site
Glyndebourne Opera Festival
Principal Conductors, Royal
Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Principal Conductors, Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Principal Conductors of the Staatskapelle Dresden
Julius Rietz (1874)
Franz Wüllner (1877)
Ernst von Schuch
Ernst von Schuch (1884)
Fritz Reiner (1914)
Fritz Busch (1922)
Karl Böhm (1934)
Karl Elmendorff (1943)
Joseph Keilberth (1945)
Rudolf Kempe (1949)
Franz Konwitschny (1953)
Lovro von Matačić
Lovro von Matačić (1956)
Otmar Suitner (1960)
Kurt Sanderling (1964)
Martin Turnovský (1966)
Herbert Blomstedt (1975)
Hans Vonk (1985)
Giuseppe Sinopoli (1992)
Bernard Haitink (2002)
Fabio Luisi (2007)
Christian Thielemann (2012)
ISNI: 0000 0001 2032 8431
BNF: cb13892007q (data)