George Singer (1908-1980)

המנצח הישראלי גיאורג זינגר, מתוך תוכניה של האופרה הישראלית.
Chef d'orhestre Israelien, Georg Singer, Directeur de l'opera d'Israel

Symphony 'From the New World' on five 45 RPM discs.

The billboard of the 1943 concert when George Singer conducted the Palestine Orchestra.

Beethoven (Coriolan), Mendelssohn (Ruy Blas), Liszt (Les Preludes) conducted by George Singer. The orchestra now named "European Symphony Orchestra" - Merit M1-16.

Tchaikovsky's 1812 Festival Overture (Ouverture Solonelle) was issued on 2 x 45 RPM 7" discs with Smetena's Moldau by George Singer (reference RB-4-003).
By mistake the box mentions George Singer as the conductor for the Tchaikovsky piece, whereas the factual conductor was Kurt Wöss.

Search The Remington Site

SINGER, GEORGE (1908-1980), chef d’orchestre, compositeur et pianiste. Né à Prague, Singer étudia le piano et la composition à l’Académie de musique (1924-26) et remporta un concours de piano (1925). Il fait ses débuts comme chef d’orchestre d’opéra au Neues Deutsches Theater (1926-30). Par la suite, Singer se rend à Hambourg pour diriger le Staatsoper. En 1934, il retourne à Prague, où il donne la première représentation radiophonique de la version concert du premier opéra de Dvořák, Alfred. Lorsque les nazis ont envahi la Tchécoslovaquie, il s’est rendu en Palestine en 1939 sur le navire d’immigrants « illégaux »Tiger Hill. Il a été parmi les fondateurs et chef d’orchestre de l’Opéra de Palestine, servant jusqu’en 1945. Lors de la création de l’Opéra d’Israël en 1947, il en devient le chef invité permanent. Singer a souvent dirigé l’Orchestre philharmonique d’Israël, l’Orchestre de radiodiffusion israélien, l’Orchestre de chambre d’Israël, l’Orchestre symphonique de Haïfa et le Festival Rubinstein. À partir de 1947, il fit également de nombreuses tournées pour diriger des orchestres et des opéras en Europe, auxÉtats-Unis et en Russie (1956), donnant des interprétations particulièrement remarquables des œuvres de compositeurs tchécoslovaques et israéliens. Parmi les premières d’opéra qu’il dirigea, mentionnons King David de Darius *Milhaud (1954); *Alexandra the Hasmonean d’Avidom (1959), et Karel* Salamon’s Vows. Il a donné les premières de plusieurs œuvres orchestrales israéliennes, telles que la Symphonie n° 4 d’Avidom; To the Chief Musiciande Ben Haim pour orchestre, Symphonie n° 2 etThe Sweet Psalmist of Israel; * Concerto pour hautbois de Boskovich; et*Gelbrun’s Rilke Songs. Il était connu pour sa facilité phénoménale à lire à vue et à diriger toutes les nuances d’une partition orchestrale. Parmi ses compositions figurent Sinfonietta pour orchestre (1950), deux suites pour orchestre (1957, 1960), un concertino pour piano (1965) et de la musique vocale et pour piano.
Conductor George Singer
George Singer around 1950.

Conductor George Singer (who was also a composer) led the Opera of Prague, as well as the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Prague Spring Festival. He conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra on a regular basis and also the Hebrew National Opera. He contributed to Israeli culture by premiering several works from contemporary, Israeli composers.

He spent several months of the year outside Israel appearing in front of important European orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic and the Suisse-Romande Orchestra (l' Orchestre de la Suisse-Romande). He conducted the Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome and spent time in Vienna with the Austrian Symphony Orchestra, in Leipzig with the Radio Orchestra (Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig - MDR - Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk), the Symphony Orchestra of Radio Hamburg (Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Hamburg) and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra (Bamberger Symphoniker).

George Singer was the first Israeli conductor to perform in the USSR. He already conducted the Palestine Orchestra (Eretz Israeli Orchestra), long before it became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra was founded by violinist Bronislaw Huberman in 1936 with the support of Arturo Toscanini who conducted the first concert.

The 1939-1940 season of subscription concerts of the Israel Philharmonic with George Singer conducting Borodin, Franck, Dvorak, Gluck, Schubert and Mahler. Right from the start of the orchestra's existence famous conductors and soloists travelled to Israel to give concerts, and national celebrities performed with the orchestra. To mention a few: Arturo Toscanini, Malcolm Sargent, Benno Moiseiwtisch, Jacob Bernstein, Issay Dobrowen, Eugen Szenkar, Oda Slobodskaya, Herman Scherchen, Ignaz Neumark, and George Singer.

Of the many concerts of George Singer, one memorable took place on Monday, June 7th, 1943, in the midst of the Second World War, in the so called Edison Hall. On the program was Beethoven's Prometheus Overture and Pastoral Symphony, and after the break pianist Lance Dossor was the soloist in Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat Major. Another memorable concert with George Singer conducting was during the 1963/1964 season. On the program: Paul Ben Haim's 'Dance and Invocation', Brahms's Double Concerto (with Endre Wolf, violin, and Adolfo Odnoposoff, cello), and after the intermission Dvorak's 3rd (7th) Symphony. Singer conducted works of many Israeli composers. Especially known are the performances of the music of Arthur Gelbun (on texts by Leah Goldberg) with the Israel Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra & Choir.


The Remington recordings of George Singer:

R-199-4 Dvorak: Symphony 'From the New World - released December 1950 (reissued on Masterseal MSLP 5014 in 1957).

Alex Steinweiss designed the cover for the recording of Dvorak's Slavonic Dances.

R-149-10 Bizet: Carmen Suite and Smetena: The Moldau - released December 1950.

R-149-11 Rimsky-Korsakov: Le coq d'or (orchestral suite) - released in the Spring of 1951
Music critic Cecil Smith wrote in New Republic that the performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's glittering Suite from "Le Coq d'Or" recorded by George Singer and the Symphony Orchestra of the Viennese Symphonic Society was "a creditable job", which means that the Suite is performed with imagination and nuances.

Le coq d'or (Rimsky-Korsakov) coupled with Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 conducted by H. Arthur Brown. Many years later Peer Gynt Suites Nos. 1 and 2 were released on the Vibraton label and there it is stated that both Suites were directed by Georges Singer.
Liszt's Les Preludes conducted by George Singer were coupled on R-149-47 with Georges Enesco performing his Rumanian Rhapsody No. 1. The Rhapsody was later reissued with Heitor Villa-Lobos conducting the RIAS Symphomy Orchestra.

R-149-47 Liszt: Les Preludes (+ Enesco Rumanian Rhapsody No. 2, George Enesco conducting) (Varèse Sarabande VC 81042 -1978) - released in the Fall of 1951

R-149-48 Mendelssohn: Ruy Blas Overture (+ Beethoven Egmont Overture, Hans Wolf conducting) - released in September of 1952

R-199-51 Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 - released Fall 1951

R-199-55 Rimsky-Korsakov: Le coq d'or (orchesral suite) originally released on a 10 inch disc is now coupled with Tchaikovsky's 'Tempest' conducted by Zoltan Fekete - released in the Fall of 1951

R-199-106 Dvorak: Slavonic Dances Op. 46 - Released in April, 1954

R-199-110 Schubert: Symphony No. 3 and Haydn: Symphony No. 93 - Released in February, 1954

R-199-112 Mozart: Symphony No. 29 (+ Weber: Symphony No. 2 conducted by Günther Rabhuber) - Released in May, 1954

R-199-114 George Singer conducting Dvorak (Largo from New World Symphony), Rimsky-Korsakov (March from Le coq d'or), Erasmo Ghiglia conducting Rossini (Barber of Seville Overture); coupled with excerpts from The King and I with Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra - released in 1954

Mozart: Symphony No. 29 conducted by George Singer and Carl Maria von Weber's : Symphony No. 2 conducted by Günther Rabhuber.
An early release of Le Coq d'Or (Rimsky-Korsakov) conducted by George Singer, coupled with The Tempest (Tchaikovsky) conducted by Zoltan Fekete.

Some of the recordings were released later in different couplings. The best example is the Suite 'Le coq d'or' by Rimsky-Korsakov which was released on R-199-68 together with Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 conducted by H. Arthur Brown.
The release dates of the recordings were taken from Schwann Record Catalog and The Longplayer. In certain instances the Schwann listed a recording later than The Longplayer did.

Traverso player Raanan Eylon from Jerusalem played under George Singer. He remembers:

Singer was Czech - like my mother. He was a fiend at playing scores on the piano - he could read anything. A conductor of great inspiration. The orchestra that I played in for a year when I was 19 - the Israeli Radio Orchestra in Jerusalem - liked only two conductors - George Singer and Carlo Zecchi. Singer because he never had patience for thorough rehearsal. He would always say: "In the evening", meaning that things will work out in the concert. The orchestra played really well for him if compared to the abysmal playing for others. I knew of two people in Israel who were able to put an orchestral score in front of them and play anything and everything on the piano. The composer Yosef Tal (who is 98 years old) was one, and George Singer was the other. Singer's love for Czech composers was legendary, and he would include a Dvorak work in each program, if possible. - Raanan Eylon. 2007.

The archives of the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Radio Central Germany - MDR) contain various recordings. The details are taken from the MDR-list.

Catalog number: 39850 - Date: 1967-03-30.
Studio/Leipzig, Funkhaus Saal 1:
Mozart: Sechs deutsche Tänze (Six German Dances) KV 567
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig (MDR) - George Singer, conductor

Catalog number: 39851/audio - Date: 1967-03-30.
Studio/Leipzig, Funkhaus Saal 1
Mozart: Sechs deutsche Tänze (Six German Dances) KV 571
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig (MDR) - George Singer (Dirigent)

George Singer conducted the Netherlands Opera Company in Verdi's Othello and Puccini's La Bohème in Amsterdam.

In February and March 1960, George Singer conducted performances of OTHELLO (Guiseppe Verdi) and La Bohème (Giacomo Puccini) in the Amsterdam City Theatre (Amsterdamse Stadsschouwburg). Stars in Othello were Mimi Aarden, Scipio Colombo and Ramon Vinay (Othello), Angela Vercelli, Leonard del Ferro and Rudolf Knoll (second performance of Othello). In La Bohëme were starring Mirella Freni, Marilyn Tyler and Ettore Babini. The picture of George Singer in action appeared in Issue 1960/2 of Dutch Opera Magazine.

There also exists a recording with the Bamberger Symponiker of
Mozart: Rondo for Violin and Orchestra KV 373
Soloist: Zvi Zeitlin (violin)
George Singer conducting.

And there is a recording with Excerpts from Nabucco (Verdi) with Norma Giusti (soprano), Erika Wien (Mezzo-Soprano), Giuseppe Savio (tenor), Lawrence Winters (baritone), Nicola Rpossi-Lemeni (bass), the Radio Chorus and the Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra (Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Hamburg), George Singer conducting.
ETERNA Stereo 825364 (1974)

Text and research Rudolf A. Bruil. Page first published on December 9th, 2009



Dimensions: 11.7 x 9 cm. (4.6 x3.5")
4 Jahre habe ich in Hamburg
gelebt +  ???? die
letzten 4 Tage habe ich Dich
erst kennengelernt. Schade.
Zur Erinnerung an Georg Singer
Chopin Mazurka

(4 years I've lived in Hamburg ....
last 4 days I've only got to know you. Too bad.

In memory of Georg Singer - Chopin Mazurka)