Scherchen, Hermann (hĕrˈmän shĕrˈkhĕn) [key], 1891–1966, German conductor. Scherchen was largely self-taught. He played viola in the Berlin Philharmonic (1907–10) and made his debut there as a conductor in 1911. Scherchen conducted and taught throughout Europe and gained a reputation as an outstanding exponent of modern music. He was associated with Arnold Schoenberg in the first performances of Pierrot Lunaire (1912). Scherchen made his American debut in 1964 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He wrote Handbook of Conducting (6th ed. 1949) and The Nature of Music (tr. 1950).