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Munchinger, Karl (29th May 1915-13th March 1990)

He was an orchestral conductor and organist born in Stuttgart, Germany.

After having shown much talent in music as a child he studied at the Stuttgart Hochschule fur Musik and the Leipzig Conservatory.  He returned home to Stuttgart after graduating and became an organist, choir director and free lance conductor until he got the permanent position of First Conductor at the Hanover Symphony Orchestra.

He did not work after 1943 until the end of WWII and he had returned to Stuttgart when, in 1945, he founded the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. After they had debuted in Paris in 1949 they quickly gained international acclaim, making several important international tours. He made his own debut in the United States in 1953 and after his success took the orchestra back in 1954 to make a successful tour.

In 1966 he was the founder of the Klassiches Philharmonic Stuttgart, which was an ensemble made up of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and he expanded the number of members so that larger compositions could be performed.

He was known as one of Europe’s finest interpreters of Bach’s works and returned many of the traditional Baroque elements that had disappeared over the years, often having being replaced with Romanticism.  He made numerous recordings with his interpretation of Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 4” featuring in the 2001 movie Enigma and his version of St. Matthew’s Passion (BWV 244) winning a Grand Prix de Disque.

He retired in 1988 and in 1990 he passed away in Stuttgart aged 74.

Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra recordings
Adagio in G Minor (Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni)
Decca 475 8073 (CD: Ultimate Baroque)
Conductor –Karl Munchinger