Sawallisch, Wolfgang, 1923–2013, German conductor, b. Munich. A specialist in the classical German repertoire, Sawallisch began conducting as a teenager. After World War II, he became a coach at the opera house in Augsburg, and made his debut as a conductor there in 1947. During the 1950s and 60s he was general music director successively in Aachen, Wiesbaden, and Cologne and was music director of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (1960–70) and Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra (1961–73). From 1971 to 1992 he held directorial posts at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich, where he was known for his Wagner and Strauss opera cycles. In 1993 he was named music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the United States he broadened his repertoire, conducting standard classical pieces, adding many American composers, and devoting a season to 20th-century works. He retired in 2003.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.