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Georges Pretre (b1924)

Prêtre studied initially at the Douai Conservatoire, before moving to Paris where he entered the Paris Conservatoire and took first prize for trumpet in 1944. He also studied harmony with Henri Challon and Maurice Duruflé before turning to the study of conducting, for which his teachers were André Cluytens, Pierre Dervaux and Richard Blareau. Having familiarised himself with the operatic repertoire by sitting through numerous performances in the orchestra pits of both the Paris Opera and Opéra-Comique, Paris, Prêtre spent his formative years as a conductor working in the provincial opera houses of France, where the French tradition of operatic and operetta performance was arguably stronger than in the capital. He made his debut as a conductor in Marseilles in 1946 directing Lalo’s Le Roi d’Ys, and subsequently worked at Lille (1948) and Casablanca (1949–1951), before spending four years at the Capitol in Toulouse from 1951 to 1955.




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