Masters Thesis

Hans Richter's conducting career in England, 1877-1911

The subject of this work is the life and career of Hans Richter (1843-1916), an eminent Austro-Hungarian conductor who specialized in interpretations of German Romantic music written during the second half of the nineteenth century. Primary focus will be on the first ten years (1877-86) of his thirty-five-year career as a conductor in England. The Richter Concerts, his series of London orchestral performances between 1879 and 1902, receive the most detailed coverage, while his activities as conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (1875-98) are only covered where relevant. Among the areas discussed are the repertoire performed at his concerts, its reception by music critics and the public, and the similarities between Richter's London and Vienna repertoire. Richter's efforts on behalf of British music will also be considered, in terms of his direct support for native composers and his contribution to the elevation of performance standards at English concerts. His relationships with composers will be explored as they relate to performances of their music.