Dimitri Mitropoulos

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Dimitri Mitropoulos ( Greek Δημήτρης Μητρόπουλος ; born February 18 . Jul / 1. March  1896 greg. In Athens , † 2. November 1960 in Milan , Italy ) was a Greek conductor , composer and pianist .


Mitropoulos was born in Athens and studied music at the Athens Conservatory and in Brussels and Berlin . a. at Ferruccio Busoni . From 1921 to 1925 he was Erich Kleiber's assistant at the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden . He then took on various posts in Greece. In 1930 he played the solo part of the 3rd Piano Concerto by Sergei Prokofjew at a concert with the Berlin Philharmonic and conducted the orchestra from the piano. He became the first modern musician to take on this dual function.

Mitropoulos made his US debut in 1936 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra . He later settled in the country and became an American citizen in 1946. From 1937 to 1949 he was chief conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra . He then worked with the New York Philharmonic , whose sole music director he succeeded Bruno Walter in 1951 . Mitropoulos was replaced in this position in 1957 due to hostility towards homosexuals. Leonard Bernstein became his successor. From 1954 to 1960 Mitropoulos conducted regularly as a guest at the Metropolitan Opera . He introduced a large number of new works there and conducted a. a. the world premiere of Samuel Barber's opera Vanessa , on whose instrumentation he had participated.

He died of a heart attack in Milan at the age of 64 during a rehearsal for Gustav Mahler's 3rd Symphony .

Mitropoulos was a recognized interpreter of the works of Gustav Mahler and American music and an advocate of contemporary music, such as the Second Viennese School . His last appearance at the Salzburg Festival in 1960 was dedicated to Mahler's 8th Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic . For this achievement he received the golden Mahler medal from the International Gustav Mahler Society Vienna in the same year.

He composed a number of orchestral works, solo works for piano, and arrangements of organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach for orchestra.

Dimitri Mitropoulos International Music Competition


  • Stathis A. Arfanis: The Complete Discography of Dimitri Mitropoulos . Irinna SA, Athens 1990.
  • Apostolos G. Kostios: The conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos (1896-1960). (Dissertation Univ. Vienna) . Vienna 1980.
  • William R. Trotter: Priest of Music: The Life of Dimitri Mitropoulos . Amadeus Press, Portland, Oregon 1995, ISBN 0-931340-81-0 .
  • Alessandro Zignani: Dimitri Mitropoulos. Una luce che incatena il cielo . Zecchini, Varese 2007, ISBN 978-88-87203-63-9 .

Web links

Commons : Dimitri Mitropoulos  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. gustav-mahler.org: The golden Mahler Medal (accessed October 29, 2014)