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Carlos Kleiber

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Carlos Kleiber (3 July 1930 - 13 July 2004) was a German-born Austrian conductor.

He was born as Karl Ludwig Kleiber in Berlin, the son of the Austrian conductor Erich Kleiber and Ruth Goodrich, an American. In 1935, the Kleiber family emigrated to Buenos Aires, after Erich Kleiber had resigned his post at the Berlin Opera in protest over the Nazi Party’s policies. Karl’s name became Carlos. As a youth, he had an English governess, grew up in English boarding schools in Argentina and later studied in New York and Zurich. He also composed, sang, and played piano and timpani. While his father noticed his son’s musical talents, Erich Kleiber nevertheless dissuaded Carlos from pursuing a musical career: “What a pity the boy is musically talented”, wrote his father to a friend.

Carlos Kleiber initially studied chemistry in Zürich, but soon decided to dedicate himself to music. He was repetiteur at the Gartnerplatz Theatre in Munich in 1952, and became Kapellmeister at Potsdam in 1954. From 1958 to 1964 he was Kapellmeister at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and Duisburg, and then at the Opera in Zürich from 1964 to 1966. Between 1966 and 1973 he was first Kapellmeister in Stuttgart, his last permanent post. During the following years, he often conducted at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.

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