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George Szell (originally "György Széll" like "cell"), born in Budapest, Hungary on June 7, 1897 and died in Cleveland, Ohio on July 30, 1970, was a Jewish-American conductor and composer. Well known for his long held position as musical director of the Cleveland Orchestra. By the time of his death he was credited, to quote the critic Donal Henahan, with having built it into "what many critics regarded as the world's keenest symphonic instrument." Szell's musical preferences stemmed from the Austro-German tradition of Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Brahms, Schumann, Schubert, Strauss, Mahler, and Bruckner yet often conducted new works by modern composers Prokofiev, Hindemith, Bartok, and Walton.

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