Fritz Busch

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fritz Busch in Stuttgart. Photo from 1919.

Fritz Busch (born March 13, 1890 in Siegen , † September 14, 1951 in London ) was a German conductor .


Fritz Busch studied with Fritz Steinbach in Cologne . At the age of 19 he became Kapellmeister in Riga , then in Bad Pyrmont and Gotha . From 1912 to 1918 he was engaged as music director of the Aachen Symphony Orchestra .

From 1918 to 1922 he was general music director of the Stuttgart State Orchestra and then, in the successor to Fritz Reiner (1888-1963), who had accepted an engagement in the USA in 1921, chief conductor at the Semperoper in Dresden until 1933 , where he performed exemplary productions became a protagonist of the Verdi renaissance . In 1924 and 1925 he conducted in Bayreuth, 1927/28 in New York and 1929 in London. With the Sächsische Staatskapelle he gave a guest performance a. at the Salzburg Festival with Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail and at the German Opera House in Berlin with Verdi's Un ballo in maschera (German: a masked ball ).

"For ten years he stood at the podium at the State Opera a hundred times a year, made opera history in Dresden, premiered ' Intermezzo ' and ' Egyptian Helena ', and the Nazis shouted him out at the opera as a receipt ."

On March 7, 1933, before a Rigoletto performance began, Busch was yelled from the podium by SA men and had to give up his position as general music director at the Semperoper. Kurt Striegler was his successor . This deposition was not well-liked even in Berlin. Göring offered the famous conductor the direction of the Charlottenburg Opera in Berlin. Busch described the conversation with Goering as follows:

Fritz Busch around 1930

“I said that I would not take a seat away from any Jewish colleague. - Goering: 'Well, dear friend, we also have the means to force you to do it!' - 'Just try that,' I blurted out. 'You will not have any pleasure in a forced' Tannhauser 'under my direction. You have never heard anything so boring as this in your life. "

This ended the Nazi advertising.

Busch emigrated to England and founded the Glyndebourne Festival together with Carl Ebert as an equal director , which they carried out until the beginning of the Second World War . Other stations in exile were Buenos Aires , where he acquired Argentine citizenship in 1936, Stockholm , from 1934 with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra ( DR Symfoni Orkestret , the Danish Broadcasting Orchestra) founded in 1925 in Copenhagen , where he conducted numerous world premieres, including the 1936 premiere of Sinfonia Svastika by Louis Glass . Edinburgh and Zurich were further stops. In 1940 Busch and his wife Grete fled Europe to America. There they stayed mainly in Argentina, but in 1941 and 1942 Busch also conducted in New York . From 1945 to 1950 Busch was chosen as artistic director of the Metropolitan Opera New York. In the summer of 1950 he conducted the Glyndebourne Festival again for the first time. In February 1951, Busch returned to Germany to conduct the first opera production of the then Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) in Cologne : Verdi's Masked Ball. His death on September 14, 1951 preceded his appointment to the Vienna State Opera .

Busch was friends with Richard Strauss and other well-known conductors. On the occasion of his 100th birthday he was posthumously made an honorary member of the Staatskapelle Dresden. It was not until 65 years after the Nazis' expulsion from his post as Dresden General Music Director that Giuseppe Sinopoli offered a symbolic apology for this barbaric act on September 22, 1998 .

Fritz Busch was the brother of the violinist Adolf Busch , the actor Willi Busch , the cellist Hermann Busch and the pianist Heinrich Busch . Like his brothers, he was a member of the International Artist Lodge . His father was the violin maker Wilhelm Busch . Fritz Busch was married to Grete Boettcher (1886–1966), the daughter of the journalist and Reichstag member Friedrich Boettcher , since 1911 .

Fritz Busch Prize

With the Fritz Busch Prize, the Foundation for the Promotion of the Semperoper has been honoring outstanding artists or ensembles who belong or were a part of the Saxon State Opera since 1993. The award takes place annually as part of a gala - the foundation's award winners' concert. Previous winners have included Peter Bruns (1993), Peter Damm (1995) and Eckart Haupt (1996).


  • Fritz Busch: From the life of a musician . Rascher Verlag, Zurich 1949. Most recently as a Fischer paperback, Frankfurt / M. 2001, ISBN 3-596-15329-8 .

Sound recordings

  • Steffen Lieberwirth (ed.), Fritz Busch, Complete Dresden Recordings 1923 to 1932 ; Edition Staatskapelle Dresden, three CDs , one DVD


See also

Memorial plaque for Fritz Busch in Bayreuth

Web links

Commons : Fritz Busch  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. See: Maria Stader: Take my thanks. Memories . Munich, 1979, p. 145
  2. These had already been dismissed by the Nazis or were being expelled from their offices at the time.
  3. See on this: Hanns Werner Heister: Music and Musicians in Nazism . Frankfurt 2004, p. 343
  4. Fritz Busch - Welcome home! Memories from concert dramaturge Eberhard Steindorf. February 18, 2015, accessed July 4, 2015 .
  5. Fritz-Busch-Preis  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /