Rudel, Julius

Rudel, Julius, 1921–2014, Austrian-American conductor, b. Vienna, grad. Mannes School of Music (1942). A child prodigy on the violin and piano, he studied at the Vienna Academy of Music. After his father died and Austria was annexed by Germany, he moved with his family to New York City (1938), supporting them with a number of jobs. In 1943 he began working for the New York City Opera as a rehearsal pianist, soon becoming a conductor (1944) and later director (1957–79). He brought innovative and contemporary programming to the company, enlarging its repertory of American operas, and helped to establish the careers of many artists, including Beverly Sills, who succeeded him as director. He also served as the first music director (1971–75) for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., and as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic (1979–85), and was a frequent guest conductor elsewhere.

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