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Artur Bodanzky

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Artur Bodanzky (also written as Artur Bodzansky) (December 16, 1877 in Vienna – 23 November 1939 in New York) was a Jewish conductor particularly associated with the operas of Wagner.


The son of Jewish merchants, Bodanzky studied the violin and composition with Alexander Zemlinsky [1] Bodanzky then became conducting assistant to Gustav Mahler in Vienna, later going on to jobs in Berlin, the Neues Deutsches Theater in Prague (August 1907)[2], where he was briefly a colleague of Otto Klemperer[3] and Mannheim. In 1915 he emigrated to the United States to work for the Metropolitan Opera, being replaced at Mannheim by Wilhelm Furtwängler. He was head of German repertory at the Met, being accepted by Toscanini on the recommendation of Ferruccio Busoni.[4] In 1921 he was engaged by the New York Philharmonic as a guest conductor.[5] In 1928, Bodanzky announced his resignation from the Met and was replaced by Joseph Rosenstock. However, Rosenstock received such criticism in the press that he himself resigned almost immediately on medical advice, and Bodanzky was rehired, and remained at the Met until his death. He was approached by Thomas Beecham to conduct at Covent Garden, London in 1936, but his requested fee of £250 for each performance was considered too high.[6]

Conducting style

When he was appointed to his position at Mannheim Bodanzky was praised as a "mature and diligent" conductor" with "only one deficiency: a certain heavy-handedness, a predilection for ritardando".[7]. However, later in his career at the Met Bodanzky became "notorious for his rapid tempi, particularly in Wagner".[7] Bodanzky reputedly introduced more cuts in operas he prepared than many other contemporary conductors, and it was sometimes suggested that he was eager to finish the opera in time to play cards. H. L. Mencken criticized his abilities as a symphonic conductor, saying that "he gave an impression of being unfamiliar with what he was there to direct".[8]


  1. Beaumont (2000). p. 28
  2. Beaumont (2000), p. 157
  3. Beaumont (2000), p. 213
  4. Horowitz (2005), p. 367
  5. Horowitz (2005), p. 278
  6. Hart, Philipp (1994). Fritz Reiner: A Biography. Northwestern University Press. p. 90. ISBN 081011125X. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Beaumont (2000), p. 167
  8. Mencken, H. L. (2003). American Mercury Magazine January to April 1924. Kessinger Publishing. p. 287. ISBN 0766164756. 


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Artur Bodanzky. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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