Documents associated with this person:

German conductor and composer of Jewish descent.

Career Summary

Klemperer studied with Iwan Knorr at the Frankurt Conservatory, and with Pfitzner at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory in Berlin. He occupied posts in Prague (1907) on Mahler's recommendation, then Hamburg (1910-12), Barmen (1913-14), Strasburg (1914-17), Cologne (1917-24), Wiesbaden (1924-27), then at the Berlin Staatsoper responsible for new and recent works, and performance of repertory works in a non-traditional manner at the Kroll Theater (1927-31), where he conducted works by Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Hindemith, Janáček, Weill, and others. Thereafter, he continued to work at the Staatsoper until he emigrated to the USA in 1933, where he conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (1933-39) and other major orchestras. After World War II he conducted at the Budapest Opera (1947-50), then contracted with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London from 1954, conducting also at Covent Garden in the 1960s.

He established himself as an authoritative interpreter of the Austro-Hungarian repertory from Haydn to Mahler.

Klemperer and Schenker

Klemperer is known to have visited Schenker at his home on September 11, 1934 (diary). Little is known of Schenker's attitude toward Klemperer's performance, other than a diary entry from June 7, 1933: "Klemperer conducts Till Eulenspiegel quite excellently; Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, on the other hand, in the conventionally ignorant rut."

Correspondence with Schenker

Correspondence between Klemperer and Schenker exists as OC 44/29 (September 20, 1934) and OC 44/24, 27, 28 (undated).


  • NGDM
  • Federhofer, Hellmut, Heinrich Schenker nach Tagebüchern und Briefen ... (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1985), pp. 161, 221

Download all selected files as or or (check files to select/deselect)
Where appropriate save: English and German versions German version only English version only