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Hans Knappertsbusch (1888 - 1965)

Hans Knappertsbusch was born into a prosperous family whose wealth was gained from manufacturing. While still at school he conducted various orchestras, but as a result of paternal opposition to a career in music he studied philosophy at Bonn University. Nonetheless he also studied music at the Cologne Conservatory, where his teachers included Fritz Steinbach, one of the foremost interpreters of the music of Brahms. During 1910 Knappertsbusch worked as an unpaid assistant to Siegfried Wagner and Hans Richter at the Bayreuth Festival, and in the same year he accepted a permanent conducting position at the opera house at Muhlheim, staying there until 1912 when he moved to a similar position at Bochum. He returned to his home town, Elbersfeld, in 1913 as permanent conductor at the local opera house, and also led one of the first productions of Wagner’s Parsifal to be given outside Germany, in Holland.



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