September 12, 1990 |
Wolfgang Sawallisch, the director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich who has been characterized as a consummate musician, compassionate conductor, and very private person, today was named music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Sawallisch, 67, will succeed Riccardo Muti, who plans to step down as music director after the 1991-92 season. Muti will continue his association with the orchestra as laureate conductor, however. At a press conference announcing the appointment, Sawallisch said: "All of my experiences in Philadelphia, since my debut over 20 years ago, have been extremely rewarding.
June 27, 1998 |
Wolfgang Sawallisch's recording of the complete, 15-hour Der Ring des Nibelungen has been released in a 14-CD package. No other musical work - except some Chinese opera - matches Richard Wagner's Ring for scale. The gargantuan recording project slipped into local stores without fanfare, probably because EMI counts the appearance of the four-opera set as a rerelease: The original recording was issued as a set of video discs. Sawallisch recorded the four Wagner operas in 1991 while he was completing his 22-year tenure as music director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.
February 22, 1992 |
Wolfgang Sawallisch, music-director designate of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has canceled his scheduled appearances with the orchestra at the Academy of Music March 5 to 17 because of surgery to repair a hernia. "I am furious and disconsolate," Sawallisch said in a prepared statement, adding that this is the first time in 45 years that he has been forced to cancel an appearance. "I had been looking forward with such pleasure to the forthcoming concerts with my great and beloved orchestra, but I am told this condition must be corrected immediately," Sawallisch said.
September 13, 1990 |
If you passed Wolfgang Sawallisch on the street, you might take him for a banker or law professor. A New York Times music critic once likened the internationally renowned West German maestro to Clark Kent, for his appearance is formal and conservative. He is a man who comes to rehearsals wearing a long-sleeved shirt, cuff links and a tie. He lacks the leonine locks of Riccardo Muti. He has devoted much of the last 20 years to charting the musical course of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, where he was born.
August 30, 1990 |
The man who reportedly has been offered the position of music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Wolfgang Sawallisch, is characterized as a consummate musician, a compassionate conductor and a man so private it is not widely known whether he has children. Sawallisch, 67, director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, is regarded in his homeland as an eminence grise, a quiet but fiercely dedicated artist who has labored intensely to create memorable music. "We'll never get another conductor like him. If he leaves, it really is the end of an era," said Oswald Beaujean, a cultural editor at Bavarian Radio.
April 7, 1989 |
Surprisingly, considering the Philadelphia Orchestra's history, this is only the fourth season that the musicians have had a regular subscription series for their chamber-music activities. Program annotator Bernard Jacobson masterminds the Sunday-afternoon programs - although he is quick to describe them as "Maestro (Riccardo) Muti's series: Muti looks at every piece. . . . " Regardless of hierarchy, it is the musicians who work at the programs and who regard them with the most enthusiasm.
February 13, 1998 |
The Opera Company of Philadelphia has named a gentleman of Verona to the post of principal guest conductor. He is Maurizio Barbacini, a 51-year-old Italian who debuted with the company in 1994 with Il Trovatore and has conducted OPC productions every year since. Barbacini also holds the post of principal conductor of the Finnish National Opera and the Italian repertory at Oslo's Royal Opera, as well as principal guest conductor of the Stockholm Opera. The Opera Company hasn't had a principal conductor since the acrimonious departure of Steven Mercurio in the spring of 1995.
February 8, 1995 |
Marjana Lipovsek won a Grand Prix du Disque for her recording of Frank Martin's Der Cornet, the piece she will sing this week with the Philadelphia Orchestra. But she has to giggle when she recalls her first performance of the cycle of songs. The mezzo-soprano, who is making her local debut in an unusual two-week engagement with the orchestra, says she had known three or four of the 24 songs in the cycle, but had never heard the full cycle. "I was in Salzburg to sing in Friedrich Cerha's Baal, and I saw that Brigitte Fassbaender was going to sing this cycle.
August 29, 1990 |
Wolfgang Sawallisch, director of two Munich opera companies - the Bavarian State Opera and the Munich State Opera - has been offered the position of music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, according to a board member. The source, who asked not to be identified, said "there seems to be a basic agreement" between management and the West German conductor, who has been asked to succeed Riccardo Muti in 1992. "But," he cautioned, "there are still a lot of details to work out. You can shake hands and think you have a deal, and then when it comes to the fine print, things fall apart.
December 29, 1998 |
Mechthild Schmid Sawallisch, the wife of Philadelphia Orchestra music director Wolfgang Sawallisch, died Thursday at a hospital near her home in Grassau, Germany. She was 77 years old and had been under treatment for thyroid cancer since September. Philadelphia Orchestra spokesman Andrew Preis said the Sawallisches had telephoned holiday greetings to orchestra president Joseph H. Kluger on Dec. 21, with no hint of her illness being thought that serious. She collapsed Wednesday night and was taken to a hospital in Traunstein, where she died a few hours later.