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Bruno Walter (1876 - 1962)

Walter was born into a modest middle-class Jewish family: his father was a book-keeper. Initially, he trained as a pianist, entering the Stern Conservatory in Berlin when he was eight years old, and making his public debut the following year in a student performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. However, after hearing Hans von Bülow conduct in 1889 and visiting the Bayreuth Festival two years later, Walter decided to pursue conducting as a career. As a student he conducted the Berlin Philharmonic in 1893 in a setting of Goethe which he had composed himself, and later that year he joined the Cologne Opera as a répétiteur.



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