Carl Schuricht, German Conductor and Composer (1880-1967)

Carl Schuricht became the music director at Wiesbaden in 1911, and worked primarily in Germany until after the Second World War (including positions as principal guest conductor of the Frankfurt Rundfunk-Symphonie-Orchester and chief conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra). He was particularly known for his interpretations and promotion of contemporary music, including repertoire by Mahler, Schoenberg, Berg, Blacher, Delius, and Stravinsky. In 1944, he left Germany for Switzerland with his Jewish wife, notwithstanding the fact that he appeared on the Gottbegnadeten-Liste [“Important Artist Exempt List” or, literally, the “God-Gifted List”] of living artists most valued in German culture, compiled by Goebbels that same year.

After the Second World War, highlights of his career included conducting the reopening of the Salzburg Festival (1946), conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (with André Cluytens) on its first tour of the United States and Canada, accepting numerous guest conducting posts with major orchestras in Europe and the United States, and making a complete recording of Beethoven’s Symphonies (1957-58). His recordings, many of which were initially made for radio, have been released by labels including Decca, Artone, and Lys.

Heinz Moehn studied conducting and choral directing with Schuricht in the 1920s, likely at some point between 1923 and 1927, as their extant correspondence dates from this period. The letters from Schuricht are largely functional: they arrange or cancel future meetings, make introductions, and respond to invitations. However, Schuricht always warmly addresses Moehn as a colleague, and in a letter of reference dated 2 December 1924 he makes his high opinion of the young man clear, describing Moehn as “an excellent, idealistic-minded artist, equally outstanding as a conductor and a pianist” [“ein ausgezeichneter, idealistisch gesinnter Künstler, als Dirigent wie Pianist gleich hochstehend”].

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Bowen, José A. “Schuricht, Carl.” Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed August 16, 2019.

“Carl Schuricht.” The Musical Times 108, no. 1489 (1967): 252.

Kater, Michael H. The Twisted Muse: Musicians and Their Music in the Third Reich. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Miller, James. “Carl Schuricht Conducts, 1941-42.” Fanfare - The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors 35, no. 6 (2012): 584-585.

Moehn, Heinz. “Lebenslauf.”

Scharlau, Ulf. “Schuricht, Carl.” In MGG Online. Edited by Laurenz Lütteken. Bärenreiter, Metzler, RILM, 2016–. Article first published 2006. Article published online 2016. Accessed May 2, 2020.

Schuricht, Carl. Carl Schuricht to Heinz Moehn, 3 September 1923. Letter.

---. Carl Schuricht, 2 December 1924. Letter of reference in support of Heinz Moehn.

---. Carl Schuricht to Heinz Moehn, 15 May 1925. Letter.

---. Carl Schuricht to Heinz Moehn, 17 August 1925. Letter.

---. Carl Schuricht to Heinz Moehn, 9 September 1925. Letter.

---. Carl Schuricht to Heinz Moehn, 5 November 1925. Letter.

---. Carl Schuricht to Heinz Moehn, 4 July 1927. Letter.