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Herbert Von Karajan Herbert von Karajan the conducting superstar of the 20th century One of the greatest conductors ever to step onto a podium being credited not only with performance excellence but also changing and improving the art of conducting A child prodigy at piano Herbert von Karajan studied the piano at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg Austria where at the age of nine he gave his first public concert At the age of 18 his teacher Professor Hofmann felt that his particular talent and temperament was better suited for conducting And so at Hofmanns advice and the fact that he developed an inflammation in the tendons of his left hand Karajan dropped the piano and enrolled at the conducting class of the Vienna Music Academy Karajans first chance to conduct was at the Academys concert in 1928 where he performed Rossinis William Tell Overture and his first professional debut was the following month in Salzburg where having hired the Mozarteum Orchestra with the last cent he owned he performed Don Juan and Tchaikovskys Fifth The concert was such a great success that he was immediately offered a job at the small Bavarian town of Ulm where he was to remain for five years conducting operas In 1934 he auditioned for and got the job of First Kapellmeister for the Aachen State Theatre conducting Fidelio as his first assignment His time at Aachen was such a success that he was named general music director at the end of the 1934-35 season at the age of 27 the youngest in Germany During his time in Aachen he also had the opportunity to conduct at the Vienna State Opera Berlin Philharmonic and Berlin State Opera Aside from the conducting Karajan joined the Nazi Party in Aachen in April 1935 in response to a formal request from the head of Aachens NS-controlled municipal authority under whose aegis the musical life of the city was
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