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Peter Maag (1919 - 2001)

Peter Maag was born into a musical family: his mother, a violinist, had played with the Capet Quartet, and his father was both a musician and a distinguished theologian. He studied literature, philosophy and theology at the universities of Geneva, Zürich and Basle, as well as music with the conductor Franz von Hösslin, between 1942 and 1946. His first appointment (1943) was as a répétiteur and chorusmaster at the civic theatre at Biel-Solothurn in Switzerland where he quickly progressed to the post of first conductor. Having left Biel-Solothurn in 1946, Maag spent the following years studying opera in Paris and Rome, assisting Ansermet and Furtwängler, and conducting concerts with various orchestras including the Suisse Romande Orchestra. He continued to work with Ansermet following his appointment in 1952 as first conductor at Düsseldorf, where he stayed for three years before moving on to the position of chief conductor at Bonn. Here he extended the repertoire by introducing unfamiliar operas such as Cavalieri’s La rappresentazione di Anima, e di Corpo, Dvořák’s Rusalka, and Schumann’s Genoveva, as well as works by Hindemith, Martin, Martinů, and Toch. In 1959, the year in which he left Bonn, Maag made his debuts at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden with Die Zauberflöte and at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera with Le nozze di Figaro: he then



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