Karajan, Herbert von

BORN 5 Apr 1908, Salzburg - DIED 16 Jul 1989, Anif, Salzburg
BIRTH NAME Karajan, Heribert, Ritter von
GRAVE LOCATION Anif, Salzburg: Friedhof, Römerstrasse

Herbert von Karajan combined glamour with brilliance as a conductor. He was born Heribert Ritter von Karajan and as a child he was brilliant at the piano. He studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Franz Ledwinka, Franz Zauer and Bernhard Paumgartner. After graduating in 1926 he continued his studies in Vienna.

From 1929 to 1934 he was musical director (Kapellmeister) at the Stadttheater in Ulm. In 1933 he debuted as a conductor at the Festspiele in Salzburg. During the same year he joined the nazy party. He conducted various important orchestra's and his star rose quickly. In 1938 he married operatta singer Elmy Holgerloef (d.1983). They divorced in 1942 and in that year he married Anna Maria 'Anita' Sauest-Gütermann, a heiress who had a Jewish grandfather and who already had a daughter at the time.

In 1945 he still worked as a conductor in Berlin although he claimed that was no longer a favourite of the nazis since 1944. Shortly before the end of the war he fled to Italy. He underwent a denazification process but he was allowed to resume his career in 1946. In 1951 and in 1952 he conducted at the Bayreuth Festival. In 1955 he became the musical director of the Berlin Philharmonic, succeeding Wilhelm Furtwängler who had died in 1954. He held this position for 35 years.

In 1958 he divorced Anita and married his third wife Eliette Mouret. They had two daughters. From 1957 to 1964 he was artistic director of the State Opera in Vienna. For the rest of his life he conducted in both Berlin and Vienna. In his later years he suffered from back problems and heart problems and in 1989 he died of a heart attack at his home in Anif near Salzburg.

Anita died in 1983 and had been something of an unofficial aunt to his daughters, although she isn't mentioned in the book that Eliette wrote about her life with Von Karajan. Leonard Bernstein often stayed with Anita when he was in Vienna and liked to call Von Karajan 'the old nazi'.

Related persons
• cooperated with Besalla, Eugenie
• was pupil of Ledwinka, Franz
• cooperated with Mattoni, André
• cooperated with Wunderlich, Fritz


The grave of Herbert von Karajan at Anif, near Salzburg.
Picture by Androom (28 Aug 2009)


The grave of Herbert von Karajan at Anif, near Salzburg.
Picture by Androom (28 Aug 2009)


Memorial for Herbert von Karajan near his grave in Anif.
Picture by Androom (28 Aug 2009)


Wikipedia (EN): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_von_Karajan

Karas, Anton

Published: 13 Feb 2015
Last update: 01 Mar 2022