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Thread: Does anyone know which conductor died from a heart attack while conducting Tristan?

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    Default Does anyone know which conductor died from a heart attack while conducting Tristan?

    I just met a guy who was somewhere in Europe (either Munich or Vienna I believe) in the 1960s, watching a performance of Tristan und Isolde, and during the Liebestod right toward the beginning of the piece, the conductor had a heart attack and fell into the violin section and died.

    Does anyone know who this was, and when/where exactly it was?

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    Okay--here's a couple of fishhooks. The easiest way to find out this sort of thing is to go to Google.com, and type in something like:

    conductor "heart attack" Tristan

    The answer will leap out at you. Fascinatingly, there have been TWO conductors who had a heart attack conducting Tristan.

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    Senior Member Kopachris's Avatar
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    To narrow it down just a little more for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._a_performance

    1911 and 1968: Felix Mottl and Joseph Keilberth both died at the same spot in the performance, Mottl in Austria and Keilberth in Munich.

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    And of course, the Curse of Tristan goes back at least as far as the first production--the first Tristan, Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld, died after singing just four performances, at the age of 29.

    It's the "Scottish Play" of operas.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Wagner is a serial killer. Don't mess with him, man.

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    Senior Member Kopachris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    And of course, the Curse of Tristan goes back at least as far as the first production--the first Tristan, Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld, died after singing just four performances, at the age of 29.

    It's the "Scottish Play" of operas.
    You mean... Macbeth!

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kopachris View Post
    You mean... Macbeth!
    You said it out loud!

    (Turns around three times, spits over left shoulder, says "Angels and ministers of grace defend us"!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kopachris View Post
    You mean... Macbeth!

    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    You said it out loud!

    (Turns around three times, spits over left shoulder, says "Angels and ministers of grace defend us"!)


    No hope for me then
    Ann

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Wow, you're toast.

    It's been nice knowing you, Annie.

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    This has happened with several other conductors during a performance of an opera.
    Giuseppe Sinopoli had a fatal heart attack whole conducting Aida at the Deutsche Opera Berlin ten years ago, and Giuseppe Patane also had one while conducting Rossini's
    Barbiere in Munich.
    40 years ago, Fausto Cleva ,not too well-remembered today, but a highly respected mainstay of the Met for many years, died during a performance of Gluck's Orfeo in Athens.
    This appears to be an occupational hazard. Mariss Jansons had a near fatal heart attack near the end of a concert performance of la Boheme with the Oslo Philharmonic ,and had to be fitted with a pacemaker .
    Sinopoli was also trained as a physician, and once at an orchestral concert, a musician became ill, and he was able to help him.
    There's an interesting article on Cleva in the July Opera News magazine by John Freeman, who used to be the magazine's associate editor.

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Yes, several conductors have died in the saddle.

    Still, if I were choosing an occupation solely on the basis of having a long, full life, I'd be an orchestral conductor, hands down!

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    Wow, that's pretty crazy that I actually met this guy then. He described to me how the conductor collapsed, in vivid detail. I was helping him set up an ipod dock/bose sound system setup, and I put on the overture to Götterdämmerung to test the sound, and so he told me that story.

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    I have a cd of music by Brahms under specialist of that composer, Maestro Eduard van Beinum. He died of a heart attack in 1959, at the age of 59, while rehearsing his beloved Concertgebouw in the Brahms First Symphony...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kopachris View Post
    1911 and 1968: Felix Mottl and Joseph Keilberth both died at the same spot in the performance, Mottl in Austria and Keilberth in Munich.
    And even more eerily, Keilberth earlier said that to share Mottl's fate would be his be his ideal denouement...

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    Dimitri Mitropoulos died of a heart attack in 1960 while rehearsing the Mahler 3rd symphony with the La Scala orchestra for a concert in Milan.

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