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 Walter Herbert

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PostSubject: Walter Herbert    Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:30 am

Walter Herbert (née Seligmann, February 18, 1898 – September 14, 1975)[1] was an American conductor and impresario of German birth, and World Champion contract bridge player.

He was born in Frankfurt, and studied composition under Arnold Schoenberg in Vienna. He gained experience as a conductor in Germany and Switzerland, as well as chief conductor at the Vienna Volksoper. Just before the 1938 Anschluss, Herbert, then in Japan to introduce modern western music, emigrated to the United States, and became an American citizen in 1944.

Herbert was director of Opera in English (San Francisco), and in 1943 was appointed the first general director of the New Orleans Opera Association. He proceeded to found the Houston Grand Opera in 1955, where he remained as both general director and conductor until 1972, and was music director of Opera/South (which was founded by Sister M. Elise Sisson, SBS) in Jackson, Mississippi. He founded the San Diego Opera in 1965, and became its general director and conductor from 1969.

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