Franz Konwitschny

Franz Konwitschny (August 14, 1901, Fulnek, Moravia – July 28, 1962, Belgrade) was a German conductor and violist of Moravian descent.

Franz Konwitschny
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-41810-0001, Franz Konwitschny.jpg
Born(1901-08-14)August 14, 1901
DiedJuly 28, 1962(1962-07-28) (aged 60)

He started his career on the viola,[1] playing in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Wilhelm Furtwängler. In 1925, he moved to Vienna, where he played the viola with the Fitzner Quartet. He also began teaching at the Wiener Volkskonservatorium. He later became a conductor, joining the Stuttgart Opera in 1927. From 1949 until his death he was principal conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. From 1953 until 1955 he was also principal conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle and from 1955 onward he led the Berlin State Opera.

Like Furtwängler, Konwitschny used "expansive gestures" and had a "dislike of an exact beat."[1] Konwitschny recorded a complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies.

He was given the nickname Kon-whisky because of his heavy drinking habits.[2]

First marriage to Maria Wilhelmine Josephine Hambloch (Gieser) Two children: Franziska Hinzte (née Konwitschny), Dieter Konwitschny. His son from his second marriage Peter Konwitschny is a leading opera director in Germany.[citation needed]

Gravesite of Franz Konwitschny at southern cemetery Leipzig



  1. ^ a b Schwinger
  2. ^ "Why conducting is a health hazard".

External linksEdit

  Media related to Franz Konwitschny at Wikimedia Commons

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Erich Kleiber
Music Director, Berlin State Opera
Succeeded by
Otmar Suitner