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Kurt Woss

Kurt Wöss studied musicology at the Vienna Academy with Robert Haas, Egon Wellesz, Alfred Orel and Robert Lach, and was also a private pupil of the conductor Felix Weingartner. He made his conducting debut in 1936, and between 1938 and 1948 he taught at the Vienna Academy. His professional conducting career took off with his appointment as chief conductor of the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, which he led from 1949 to 1951. During this period both he and this orchestra made many recordings for the American label Remington, which through keen pricing and novel distribution achieved high sales in the USA, so giving Wöss’s name considerable prominence. Between 1951 and 1954 Wöss served as chief conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the principal broadcasting orchestra of Japan, after which he moved to Australia as conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 1956 to 1960; while in Australia he also appeared with the Australian Opera Company. He returned to Austria to take up the position of chief conductor of the Linz Opera in 1961, and was named chief conductor of the Linz Bruckner Orchestra in 1968, serving in this post until 1975. He retained his links with Japan as musical director of the Fumiwara Opera and as chief conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (1974). In addition Wöss conducted as a guest in England (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), Germany, and Sweden as well as in his native Austria. He died while rehearsing one of the Bruckner symphonies with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra.




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