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Lovro von Matacic (1899 - 1985)

At the age of nine Lovro von Matačič joined the Vienna Boys’ Choir, remaining a member for three years. He then entered the Vienna Academy of Music, where he studied piano, organ, composition and conducting, and where his teachers included Herbst and Nedbal. His first professional post was that of répétiteur and chorusmaster at the Cologne Opera, where he made his conducting debut in 1919; this was followed by a series of appointments as a conductor in various opera houses in the Balkan states: Osijek (1919–1920), Novi Sad (1920–1922), Ljubljana (1924–1926) and Belgrade (1926–1932). Matačič was first conductor at the Zagreb Opera from 1932 to 1938, the year in which he was appointed chief conductor of the Belgrade Opera and of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra; during this period he was also a member of the music staff of the Salzburg Festival. He moved to Vienna as a conductor at the Vienna State Opera in1942, remaining there until the collapse of the Axis powers. From this period there exists a sizzling account of the final scene from Richard Strauss’s opera Salome with the Bulgarian soprano Ljuba Welitsch, in which Matačič conducts the Vienna Radio Orchestra.




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