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William Steinberg

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Biography

William Steinberg

Source: Wikipedia

William Steinberg (August 1, 1899 – May 16, 1978) was a German-American conductor.

William Steinberg was noted throughout his career for his straightforward yet expressive musical style, leading familiar works with integrity and authority such that they sounded fresh and vital. Despite the dynamic drive of his interpretations, his podium manner was a model of restraint. Referring to some of his more acrobatic colleagues, Steinberg remarked, "The more they move around, the quieter I get."

Steinberg had a wide range of repertoire, including a surprising sympathy for the English music of Elgar and Vaughan Williams. He led several important premieres, including the US premiere of Anton Webern's Six Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6. During his first Pittsburgh season, Steinberg conducted works by Bartok, Berg, Bloch, Britten, Copland, Harris, Honegger, Milhaud, Schuman, Stravinsky, Vaughan Williams, and Villa Lobos at the Pittsburgh International Contemporary Music Festival. He was also admired as an interpreter of Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, and Mahler. He made a famous recording of Holst's "The Planets" with the Boston Symphony, after learning the piece at the age of 70. Steinberg was an able accompanist and made notable concerto recordings with violinist Nathan Milstein, pianist Arthur Rubinstein, and pianist Rudolf Firkusny.

Although sometimes criticized for his unusual programming, Steinberg was a champion of certain lesser known works including Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony, Reger's Variations on a Theme of Mozart, and his own orchestral transcription of Verdi's String Quartet. Steinberg possessed a wry humor, once remarking that he had conceived the perfect program for the "New York snobs:" an all-Mendelssohn concert. To an interviewer who said he had heard that the conductor did not care for giving interviews, Steinberg replied that it was fine as long as the subject was one that interested him - "for instance, myself."

Fact file

  • Born: August 1, 1899
  • Died: May 16, 1978 (Aged 78)

Read more about William Steinberg at Wikipedia or at the Internet Movie Database

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