Vienna and Munich,1911–1912
In 1911, Bruno Walter had to endure the death of his friend Gustav Mahler. He became director of the Vienna Singakademie, a position held by Johannes Brahms almost five decades before. He would also be drawn away from the Vienna Hofoper to other non-theatrical events. In February he had his first engagement in Rome, conducting the Orchestra of the Society of Santa Cecilia at the Augusteum in a concert of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Richard Strauss's Don Quixote, and Karl Goldmark's “Sakuntala” Overture. Walter also became preoccupied with the preparation for George Frideric Handel's Messiah in German. In the spring of 1911, two operatic premieres stood out: Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and Claude Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. Walter led the first performance of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde in Munich in 1911 as well as his Ninth Symphony in Vienna the following year. At the end of March Walter returned to Rome to conduct two concerts at the Augusteum.
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