Karl Muck

Karl Muck

Karl Muck (October 22, 1859 – March 3, 1940) was a German conductor

Born in Darmstadt, Germany, Muck earned a Ph.D. in classical philolology at Heidelberg. An early love for music led him to take piano lessons. After earning his doctorate, Muck entered the Leipzig Conservatory. He began conducting in 1884 and led orchestras in Zurich, Brno, Salzburg, Graz, and Prague. In 1892 he began conducting the Royal Opera in Berlin, where he remained until 1912. Along the way he also conducted at the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth and also worked with the Vienna Philharmonic. [cite book | last=Schonberg | first=Harold C. | title=The Great Conductors | location=New York | publisher=Simon and Schuster | year=1967 | isbn=0671207350]

He became music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1912. He was considered a modern, adventurous conductor and was responsible for leading the orchestra in historic recordings for the Victor Talking Machine Company in Camden, New Jersey, in 1917.

In 1918, Muck was accused of sympathising with the enemy during World War I for conducting performances of German music. After declining the request of a performance of the Star Spangled Banner during a concert, Muck was arrested under the Alien Enemies Act and imprisoned at Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia for the duration war. [cite news | url=http://www.thefileroom.org/documents/dyn/DisplayCase.cfm/id/259 | title=Dr. Carl Muck conductor, Boston Symphony Orchestra | publisher=The File Room | author=Rachel Weiss (ed.) | accessdate=2007-04-03] After his deportation from the United States, he was never to return. Muck is one of two German conductors believed to have been expelled from the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity for sympathizing with the Central powers.

Muck went on to lead the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, made additional recordings and appeared regularly in Bayreuth.

Muck died in Stuttgart, Germany.


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