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Rudolf, Max

Rudolf, Max

Born in 1902


Inducted in 1999

When Max Rudolf died on February 28, 1995 the world of music lost a distinguished artist and one of its most devoted servants. He was born on June 15, 1902, in Frankfurt am Main. Rudolph held posts in opera houses in Freiburg and Darmstadt before moving to Prague in 1929.Max foresaw Czechoslovakia’s invasion, and against the advice of his friends he moved his family to Sweden in 1935, and then New York in 1943. He put his time to good use, and began The Grammar of Conducting, which quickly became the standard text in its field. At the age of 90 Max devoted more than a year to revising the text for its third edition. It still stands as the best and most comprehensive book ever written on the subject. By 1945, he was hired by the Metropolitan Opera in New York, working as a coach. The following year he resumed his conduction career and artistic administrator position. For thirteen more years he helped Rudolf Bing, with whom he had worked at the opera in Prague, to organize and administrate the house. In 1985 he left the Met to become music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where he remained until 1970. During his years in Cincinnati, Max was already teaching – at various times he had stints at Tanglewood, at the Julliard Summer School, and at workshops around the country. After his retirement from Cincinnati, he accepted Rudolf Serkin’s invitation to join the faculty at The Curtis Institute of Music, where he remained until 1973. In 1983 he returned to Curtis to revive the conducting program, which had been absent from the curriculum since his departure ten years before. In 1990 he was honored as the first recipient of the Theodore Thomas Award for service to the profession.