(5 May 1900 Berlin – 28 May 1973, Holm-Holstein,
Germany) was a German conductor and composer.
He studied music
in Heidelberg and Münster. He was also a composition student with
Franz Schreker at the Berlin
Hochschule für Musik, and received a doctorate in 1923.
He was a
repetiteur at the Wuppertal Opera starting in 1923. He held conducting
positions at the opera houses of Rostock (1928 -
1931) and Darmstadt (1931 - 1933). He had the post of
first conductor at the Hamburg State Opera from 1935 to 1943. In 1944, he was named
music director at the Berlin State Opera.
In 1945, after the end of World War II
the British military authorities invited Schmidt-Isserstedt to
found an orchestra at the North German Radio in Hamburg. In six
months, he assembled the North German Radio
and conducted its first concert in November
1945. He was subsequently the orchestra's first principal
conductor. He became an advocate of music by composers whose music
had been outlawed in Germany, such as Bartók
, during the Nazi regime. His
favortite composer, however, was Mozart, and Schmidt became
associated with his music through several recordings and notable
performances of his works. In particular his recordings of Mozart
's operas Idomeneo
and La finta giardiniera
From 1955 to 1964, he was principal conductor also of the Royal Stockholm
. He conducted memorable performances of
Le nozze di Figaro at
the Glyndebourne Festival in
1958, and of Tristan und
Isolde at Royal Opera, Covent Garden in 1962.
He made a well-regarded recording of all the Beethoven
symphonies. In Germany,
Schmidt-Isserstedt was a noted champion of the music of Michael Tippett
. Schmidt-Isserstedt's own
compositions included songs, the opera Hassan gewinnt
(Rostock, 1928), and works for orchestra. His son was the British
record producer Erik Smith
- Potts, Joseph E., "European Radio Orchestras: Western Germany"
(September 1955). The Musical Times, 96
- Obituary for Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt (1973). The Musical
Times, 114 (1566): 734.
Dr. H. Schmidt-Isserstedt conducted the
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Prof. Georg Kulenkampff in a
rendition of Robert Schumann's Violin Concerto In D Minor. The
original has been restored and reissued by Heritage Records