Born: August 5, 1890 - Vienna, Austria
Died: January 27, 1956 - Zürich, Switzerland
The eminent Austrian conductor, Erich Kleiber (father of Carlos Kleiber), studied at the Prague Conservarory and the University of Prague.
Erich Kleiber made his debut at the Prague National Theater in 1911; Then he conducted opera in Darmstadt (1912-1919), Barmen-Elberfeld (1919-1921), Düsseldorf (1921-1922), and Mannheim (1922-1923). In 1923 he was appointed Generalmusikdirektor of the Berlin State Opera.
Erich Kleiberís tenure was outstanding, both for the brilliant performances of the standard repertoire and for the exciting programming of contemporary works. In December 1925 he conducted the world premiere of Alban Berg's Wozzeck. In 1934, in protest against the Nazi government, he resigned his post and emigrated to South America. He conducted regularly at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires from 1936 to 1949. Having first conducted at London's Covent Garden in 1937, he returned there from 1950 to 1953. He then was appointed Generalmusikdirektor once more of the Berlin State Opera in 1954, but resigned in March 1955, before the opening of the season, because of difficulties with the Communist regime.
Erich Kleiber was renowned for his performances of the music of Mozart and L.v. Beethoven. He also composed; among his works are a Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto, orchestral variations, Capriccio for Orchestra, numerous chamber music works, piano pieces, and songs.