On August 5th we celebrate the Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut of Fritz Reiner, at the Ravinia Festival, in 1937. The Rosenthal Archives has this about the great Maestro.
Fritz Reiner studied at the music academy in Budapest. His conducting debut was sudden-when the staff conductor at the Budapest Opera was taken ill, Reiner (then its young rehearsal coach) was thrust onto podium to direct that evening’s performance of Bizet’s Carmen. His full command of the situation subsequently led to his appointment as first conductor at the Laibach (now Ljubljana) National Opera.
From 1911 to 1914, Reiner was conductor of the People’s Opera in Budapest and went on to head the renowned Dresden Opera. He achieved great success conducting the music of Richard Strauss and premiered many of the composer’s works at Dresden.
Reiner came to the United States in 1922 and became conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony, where he remained until 1931; during this time he also was a frequent guest orchestral and operatic conductor
in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Chicago. In the 1934-35 season, Reiner organized the Philadelphia Opera Association and became its chief conductor. In 1938 he accepted the post of music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony, where he would remain for ten seasons until becoming principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera.
Read more about Fritz Reiner at the Rosenthal Archives.