On April 5, 1908, the world-renowned conductor Herbert von Karajan was born in Salzburg, Austria, which is also the hometown of Mozart, the world’s greatest genius composer.
Active on the conducting stage for more than 70 years, Karajan has not only led many top orchestras in Europe, but is also keen on recording and directing, leaving a large amount of audio-visual materials for future generations (to date, he has released nearly 200 million albums and about 700 models). recording).
To commemorate his 100th anniversary, major record companies have been crazy: EMI made 160 CDs of all his recordings on the company from 1946 to 1984; the German record company launched a series of records, and its Japanese branch simply 240 CDs of his entire recordings were released together…
people admired his talent and astonishing memory – Karajan is said to be familiar with every detail of at least 50 operas, and can read from any of them at any time Start directing. People commented on his egotistical dictatorial style, and during rehearsals he liked to sit in the middle of the sixteenth row of the concert hall, regal in control of all the details of the stage without a single mistake.
In the music industry, Karajan is a well-deserved “conducting emperor”.
I could kill anyone for that job
Karajan’s father was a doctor and an amateur musician, which made Karajan influenced by music from an early age. Beginning to study piano at the age of 4 and at the Mozart Academy of Music in Salzburg at the age of 8, Karajan made his first performance as a pianist on Mozart’s Day on January 27, 1917. Two years later, on January 26, he played the concerto as a soloist.
According to Karajan, he was once called a “prodigy” because of his extraordinary talent at the piano. Later, Karajan ended his career as a pianist when his fingers were severely injured due to tendon sheaths that did not heal. Under the advice of predecessors such as conductor Bernhard Baumgartner, Karajan began to study conducting.
On December 17, 1928, Karajan made his debut conducting a student orchestra of the Academy. On New Year’s Day the next year, at the age of 21, he made a public performance in his hometown in order to show his talent. He conducted the Mozart Conservatory Orchestra, and the songs were Strauss’ “Don Juan” and Tchaikov. Symphony No. 5.
Not only was the performance a success, it also won him the opportunity – the manager of the Stedelijk Opera House in Ulm, Germany, invited him to audition at his own opera house. Thus, the post of Ulm became the official starting point of Karajan’s command career.
Although Ulm has only 22 band seats and limited stage resources, what Karajan likes is that as a conductor here, he can accumulate experience in all aspects of opera production. In addition to conducting, Karajan trains the choir, manages stage affairs and lighting, and even promotes the repertoire.
Between seasons in Ulm, Karajan worked elsewhere, including at the Salzburg Festival. There, he assisted Richard Strauss and Toscanini in rehearsals. He often went to see Toscanini conducting at La Scala in Milan, which made a lot of sense for him to understand how to control an orchestra. In addition, he also acquired the ability to discriminate Italian bel canto, which was relatively lacking among German and Austrian conductors at the time.
After Ulm was full-fledged, Karajan was determined to work in a higher-class theater, at the cost of joining the Nazi party. Karajan wrote in his memoirs that he joined in 1935 when he hoped to become the conductor of the Aachen Opera. “For that job, I could kill people. The application for admission to the Nazi Party in front of me was a threshold, and crossing it meant that I could get unlimited power and funding for the orchestra, and I could go without restrictions. Conducting concerts, traveling and performing, you can have your own secretary and office. The condition is that you must join the party and perform a performance for party members from time to time. So I said it doesn’t matter what the conditions are, and signed the application. Words.” He explained his behavior.
Controversial “music tycoon”
Among the many top European orchestras he has led, the Berlin Philharmonic is undoubtedly the most special existence for Karajan.
On April 9, 1938, when Karajan conducted the Berlin Philharmonic for the first time, he could not wait to turn the orchestra into his own personal guard. But it wasn’t until nearly 20 years later that that dream became a reality.
In 1955, Karajan became the permanent conductor for life of the Berlin Philharmonic, and the two had a 34-year partnership. During this period he recorded a large number of records and toured with the orchestra, which greatly increased the popularity of the orchestra and made the Berlin Philharmonic the world’s premier first symphony orchestra. Karajan has played a decisive role in the development of the orchestra, and is also a master who has been in the orchestra for the longest time since its establishment and has had the most far-reaching influence on the orchestra.
Karajan has been active on the conducting stage for over 70 years.
A music critic once said: “Karajan’s friends are all businessmen.” The so-called people who are close to Zhu are red, and those who are close to ink are black. Karajan’s principles of conduct have a businessman’s taste. He never blinks when he spends money, and his ability to make money is amazing.
Shortly after arriving at the Berlin Philharmonic, Karajan made conditions to the orchestra: to ensure that he and the soloists he invited would receive the most generous treatment in Europe. His starting price was 2,000 marks per night, 50% more than any musician paid in London at the time and the highest in Europe. Later, he continued to ask for a salary increase, until 1973 when the fee for each performance reached 10,000 marks.
However, the annual salary is negligible compared to the income from recording. Karajan recorded a record, each with a hefty commission. For example, the bakelite album of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, which he recorded in 1962, sold 1.2 million copies in 15 years, and each one could receive a royalty of 10% of the retail price.
On July 16, 1989, Karajan rehearsed Verdy’s opera “Masquerade” for the Salzburg Festival. At noon, he suddenly felt extremely unwell and was supported by his wife, Elit. Lying in his wife’s arms, he said, “I saw God smiling at me.” Then he passed away at the age of 81.
After Karajan’s death, his will showed that his property was at least 500 million marks (about 2.5 billion yuan). Of course, this wealth has also attracted a lot of criticism.
History This Week People
On April 4, 1949, the famous Chinese-American mathematician Qiu Chengtong was born.
Jackie Chan, a famous Hong Kong movie star, was born on April 7, 1954 .
On April 5, 1964 , five-star General MacArthur, the former commander-in-chief of the Allied occupation forces in Japan, died of illness.
On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., leader of the black civil rights movement in the United States, was shot and killed on the balcony of his hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.
On April 8, 2013, former British Prime Minister Margaret Hilda Thatcher died of a stroke at the age of 87.