RETURN TO TOP 1884-1902 Walter Damrosch was born in Breslau, Prussia, some 100 km east of Dresden (now Wroclaw, Poland) on January 13, 1862, son of the conductor Leopold Damrosch (1832-1885). in 1871, a year after Leopold Damrosch had visited the U. At that time, Walter Damrosch was an assistant conductor, and advanced to the German repertoire under Seidl when Leopold Damrosch died in 1885.
Walter Damrosch, as well as studying under his father, attended the Dresden Conservatory, where he studied with Wilhelm Albert Rischbieter (1834-1910) and Felix Draeseke (1835-1913). At the MET, Walter Damrosch was respected in his conducting of Wagner, although contemporary critics wrote that he did not reach the heights of contemporaries such as Hertz, and well short of the very different approaches of Mahler or Toscanini.
At Bayreuth, Seidl assisted in the creation of the first copy of the score of Das Ring des Nibelungen.
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From the MET's initial performances in 1883, until 1891, the musicians who formed the Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera were, for the most part, from the New York Symphony, particularly musicians other than the Principals.
This would change beginning in the 1893-1894 season.
Grau was followed by two other greats: Heinrich Conried 1903 - 1908 and the superbly organized and innovative Giulio Gatti-Casazza for 25 years from 1908 - 1935.
It was said of Gatti-Casazza that he spoke no English - perhaps an exaggeration, and perhaps also a convenient role for him.
The Metropolitan Opera and its Orchestra The Metropolitan Opera was incorporated in 1880 by wealthy sponsors.