Michael Gielen

Michael Gielen
Michael Andreas Gielen

(1927-07-20)20 July 1927
Died8 March 2019(2019-03-08) (aged 91)
Mondsee, Austria
  • Conductor
  • Composer

Michael Andreas Gielen (20 July 1927 – 8 March 2019) was an Austrian conductor and composer who promoted contemporary music in opera and concert.

Raised in Argentina, he first worked in Vienna and was Generalmusikdirektor (GMD) of the Royal Swedish Opera. He conducted notable world premieres such as György Ligeti's Requièm, Karlheinz Stockhausen's Carré, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann's opera Die Soldaten and his Requiem für einen jungen Dichter. He directed the Oper Frankfurt from 1977 to 1987, installing more contemporary operas, winning stage directors such as Hans Neuenfels and Ruth Berghaus, and reviving operas such as Schreker's Die Gezeichneten. During his era, the company became one of the leading operas.

Gielen was also principal conductor of the Belgian National Orchestra (1969–1973), the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (1980–1986) and the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra (1986–1999). As a composer, he worked in the tradition of the Second Viennese School, often setting modern literature to music. His works were premiered with performers such as Joan Carroll, Siegfried Palm, Aloys Kontarsky and the LaSalle Quartet.

Early years

Gielen was born in Dresden to Rose (née Steuermann) and Josef Gielen [de].[1] His father was a theatre and opera director from 1924 at the Staatstheater Dresden, who staged the premiere of Kaiser/Weill's Der Protagonist at the Semperoper in 1926. His mother Rose came from a Jewish family in Sambor (then Austria-Hungary, now Ukraine). She was an actress who had given up acting when their first child Carola was born, but appeared occasionally, for example as a speaker in the premiere of Arnold Schönberg's Pierrot lunaire in Dresden in 1919, rehearsed with her brother Eduard Steuermann.[1][2][3] The boy Michael first attended a reformed school from 1934 until it was closed by the Nazis. Both children were baptized and raised Catholic to counter Nazi indoctrination.[1]

Clemens Krauss called Josef Gielen to the Staatsoper Berlin in 1936, where Michael attended primary school for a year, and then the Kaiserin-Augusta-Gymnasium.[1] When his father's contract was dissolved in 1937,[1] he found a position at the Vienna Burgtheater. The family followed there in 1938.[1] Michael attended gymnasium and took piano lessons. Josef Gielen successfully staged at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1938 and 1939, and managed to get immigration papers for his wife and the two children. In 1940, the family left for Argentina, leaving most of their belongings behind.[1]

Other Languages
español: Michael Gielen
Esperanto: Michael Gielen
français: Michael Gielen
italiano: Michael Gielen
português: Michael Gielen
Simple English: Michael Gielen
Türkçe: Michael Gielen