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Walter Johannes Damrosch

Eminent Wagnerian conductor

Born January 30, 1862, Breslau, Germany (now Poland)
Emigrated 1871
Died December 22, 1950, New York, New York
About Walter Damrosch

Son of the early Met conductor Leopold Damrosch, Walter Damrosch was also an important figure in turn-of-the-century New York's musical life. As assistant conductor at the Met and music director of the Oratorio Society and the New York Symphony Society, as a music educator, and as a proponent for American composers, most notably George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, and Deems Taylor, he made a significant contribution to American musical life. His own operas, mostly conservative (as were the composers he tended to champion) are not generally considered important in their own right.

  • The Scarlet Letter, opera in three acts
    Libretto by G. P. Lathrop after the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
    February 10, 1896, Boston, Massachussetts
  • The Dove of Peace, comic opera in three acts
    Libretto by W. Irwin.
    October 15, 1912, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Cyrano, Opera in four acts
    Libretto by W.J. Henderson after the play by Edmond Rostand.
    February 27, 1913, Metropolitan Opera, New York, New York
  • The Man without a Country, opera in two acts
    Libretto by Arthur Guiterman after the story by Edward Everett Hale.
    May 12, 1937, Metropolitan Opera, New York, New York, Traubel, Carron, c. by the composer, 5 performances

Download music

Cyrano (1913)

"Messieurs . . . Oh, woo a woman not"

Recitative and aria for soprano, from the public domain piano-vocal score of 1913


Discography Search for recordings of the music of Walter Damrosch at Amazon.com

Balcony scene from Cyrano (Felix Knight, Agnes Davis)


Souvenirs from American Opera

CD / IRCC 818 (1998)

Last update: January 1, 2009