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Walter Weller

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Biography

Weller was born in Vienna, Austria where he first gained renown as a prodigy on the violin. His father, also named Walter, was a violinist in the Vienna Philharmonic, and at the age of 17, the young Weller became a member, and by the unusually early age of 22 he had become joint concertmaster with Willi Boskovsky. He remained in this post for 11 years.

While leading the orchestra, Weller also established and led his own string quartet from 1958 to 1969. In 1966 he married Elisabeth Samohyl with whom he had a son.

Weller’s first engagements as a conductor were in 1966, deputising at short notice for Karl Böhm in Beethoven’s Pastoral and Franz Schubert’s Great C Major symphonies and Josef Krips Johannes Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Claudio Arrau and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony.

From 1969 Weller conducted regularly at the Vienna Volksoper and the Vienna State Opera.

After this he conducted in Duisburg, Germany. In 1977 he relocated to Great Britain to become principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. This was followed by stints with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from 1980 to 1986 and from 1992 to 1997 with the Scottish National Orchestra where he remains Conductor Emeritus. The Bank of Scotland honoured Weller by printing his portrait on a special 50 pound note.

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