Artist picture of Carlos Kleiber

Carlos Kleiber

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Artist's Top Tracks

Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 : Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 - II. Allegretto Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber, Ludwig van Beethoven 08:09
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 : Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 - III. Allegro Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber, Ludwig van Beethoven 05:09
Die Fledermaus : J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus - Overture Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Carlos Kleiber, Johann Strauss II 07:40
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 : Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 - II. Andante con moto Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber, Ludwig van Beethoven 10:00
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 : Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 - I. Allegro con brio Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber 07:21
Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98 : Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98 - I. Allegro non troppo Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber, Johannes Brahms 12:50
Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98 : Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98 - III. Allegro giocoso - Poco meno presto - Tempo I Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber, Johannes Brahms 06:06
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 : Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 - IV. Allegro Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber, Ludwig van Beethoven 10:50
Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98 : Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98 - II. Andante moderato Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber, Johannes Brahms 11:23
Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98 : Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98 - IV. Allegro energico e passionato - Più allegro Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber, Johannes Brahms 09:11

Most popular release

Der Freischütz, J. 277 : Weber: Der Freischütz, J. 277 - Overture
Der Freischütz, J. 277 / Act I : Weber: Der Freischütz, J. 277 / Act I - "Viktoria! Viktoria! ..." - Bauern-Marsch - "Schau der Herr mich an als König!"
Der Freischütz, J. 277 / Act I : Weber: Der Freischütz, J. 277 / Act I - "Was gibt's hier?"
Der Freischütz, J. 277 / Act I : Weber: Der Freischütz, J. 277 / Act I - "O diese Sonne" - "Das Wild in Fluren und Triften"

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Biography

Voted by readers of BBC Music Magazine as the greatest conductor of the 20th century, German-born Carlos Kleiber was an exciting and eccentric - though often reclusive - perfectionist who worked with many of the world's greatest orchestras, but was also known as an "enfant terrible". He refused to give interviews, was very selective about the work he took on and once demanded an Audi car as his fee for a performance; one of many colourful stories that helped create a web of mystery about the man behind the genius.

The son of celebrated Austrian conductor Erich Kleiber, whose family fled to Buenos Aires to escape the Nazis, he was effectively raised by an English governess and educated at English boarding schools. Despite his own brilliant career as a conductor, his father tried to dissuade him from such a life and in 1949 he was sent to study chemistry in Zurich. Music, however, was instilled in him and composing as well as singing, playing piano and timpani from a young age, he was back in Argentina the following year pursuing his musical training.

Returning to Germany in 1951, he went on to make his conducting debut with the operetta 'Gasparone' at Potsdam in 1954 using the pseudonym Karl Keller. His reputation blossomed through the 1950s and '60s through his work with the Vienna Volksoper, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Zurich Opera and the Stuttgart Opera and he spent much of the '70s conducting the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, where his most notable performances included Strauss's 'Der Rosenkavalier', an Otto Schenk production enshrined in legend. The classical music world was subsequently electrified by performances in London, Milan and New York where his exciting display conducting 'La Boheme' at the Metropolitan Theatre caused something of a sensation. He was particularly revered in Munich and Vienna, though a negative review of an appearance with the London Symphony Orchestra upset him so much he refused to play in London ever again.

His recording career was limited due in main to his infamous temper and falling out with Deutsche Grammophon, but his most celebrated recordings include 'Tristan und Isolde', 'Die Fledermaus' and 'La Traviata' (featuring Romanian soprano Ileana Cotrubas). Married to a ballet dancer he spent his last years living in a small village in Slovenia, having retired from concert performances in the early '90s, and died in 2004 at the age of 74.