Muck, Karl

CONDUCTOR (GERMANY)
BORN 22 Oct 1859, Darmstadt, Hessen - DIED 4 Mar 1940, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg
GRAVE LOCATION Graz, Steiermark: Steinfeldfriedhof, Friedhofgasse 33 (Gruft Dr. Portugall)

Karl Muck was the son of a court official who was also a amateur musician. In 1867 the family moved to Switzerland and he became a Swiss citizen when he was 21. He played the piano and the violin as a child. Muck studied philosophy in Heidelberg and Leipzig. In Leipzig he also attented the conservatory and he was promoted there in Philosophy in 1880. His debut as a concert pianist took place in Leipzig on 19 February 1880 at the Gewandhaus with Nikisch conducting.

He became second conductor in Zürich in 1880 and moved to Salzburg as first conductor in 1881. He worked in Brünn and in Graz, where he married Anita Portugall on 3 February 1887. From 1886 to 1892 he was principal conductor at the Deutsches Landestheater in Prague. From 1892 to 1912 he was engaged at the Court Opera in Berlin. He often appeared in Bayreuth where he became principal conductor in 1903. Between 1901 and 1930 he conducted "Parsifal" at all fourteen Bayreuth festivals that were held in that period.

From 1903 to 1906 he worked in Vienna, where he alternated with Felix Mottl. From 1906 to 1918 he was the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The United States entered the First World War and after he refused to perform the American anthem during a concert he was imprisoned from March 1918 to August 1919 at camp Oglethorpe, Georgia. He was deported back to Europe and refused to perform in the USA afterwards.

In 1921 Anita died and in 1922 he took over the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1930 he had left Bayreuth, shortly after Winifred Wagner had taken over from her deceased husband Siefgried. After the nazis came to power in 1933 he resigned in Hamburg as well and retired. In February 1933 he appeared in Leipzig for the 50th anniversary of Wagner's death. In 1934 a square near the Musikhalle in Hamburg was named after him. In 1939 in Berlin Adolf Hitler handed him the Plaque of the German Eagle for his 80th birthday.

During his last years he lived in Stuttgart at the home of Baroness Ruth von Scholley (1893-1969), the daughter of an old friend. He died in Stuttgart in 1940 and was buried in the Portugall family tomb in Graz. At the occasion of the 100th anniversy of Johannes Brahms' death in 1997, the Karl-Muck-Platz in Hamburg was renamed to Johannes-Brahms-Platz. One of the reasons was that Muck had admired Adolf Hitler.

Related persons
• has a connection with Destinn, Emmy
• cooperated with Wagner, Siegfried

Events
16/3/1900Premiere of Siegfried Wagner's "Der Bärenhäuter" at the State Opera in Berlin. Karl Muck was the conductor and Eugen Quaglio had designed the scenery. Actors were Wilhelm Grüning, Rudolf Wittekopf, Marie Dietrich, Thessa Gradl, Emilie Herzog, Emil Stammer, Julius Lieban and Therese Rothauser. [Wagner, Siegfried]

Images

The grave of Karl Muck at the Steinfeldfriedhof, Graz.
Picture by Androom (08 Aug 2018)

 

The grave of Karl Muck at the Steinfeldfriedhof, Graz.
Picture by Androom (08 Aug 2018)

 

Sources
• Aubert, Joachim, Handbuch der Grabstätten berühmten Deutscher, Österreicher und Schweizer, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München, 1973
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Karl Muck - Wikipedia


Mühsam, Erich

Published: 09 Dec 2018
Last update: 21 Mar 2021