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Benjamin J. Falk
Anton Seidl, Hungarian Conductor
Private collection of T. Max Hochstetler
(7 May, 1850 - 28 March, 1898)
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Seidl entered the Leipzig Conservatory in October, 1870 at age twenty. He was already considered proficient in most of the orchestral instruments, but also had knowledge of music theory. His strong desire following two years study at Leipzig was for conducting. Returning to Budapest, during the summer of 1872, Seidl worked with Hans Richter the conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra (1871-1875). Richter recommended Seidl to work with Richard Wagner as a copyist at Bayreuth. There he assisted in making the first performance copy of "Der Ring des Nibelungen." Seidl took part in the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876. His first chance as a conductor came in 1879, with Wagner's recommendation he was appointed to the Leipzig State Theater. Seidl joined the touring company of Angelo Neumann's Nibelungen Ring Company in 1882, and gained notoriety in performances of Wagner opera Trilogy at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. In 1883, following performance with the touring company he remained in Bremen to become the conductor of the Bremen Opera Theatre. Two years later (1885) he was appointed the successor to Leopold Damrosch as conductor of the German Opera Company in New York. He married opera contralto, Auguste Kraus in that same year. In 1891, he accepted the position as conductor of the New York Philharmonic. Seidl died at 10:15 p.m. on 28 March, 1898, from food poisoning at the home of his business manager, Mr. Bernstein, having gone there after eating fish at the Vienna Cafe earlier in the day. His wife was summoned to his bedside before his passing.
Article from Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition - public domain
Excerpts from "Memoirs of Anton Seidel."
[provided by Max Hochstetler, June 2, 2008]