Ernest Ansermet

Ernest Ansermet

Birth
Vevey, District de la Riviera-Pays-d’Enhaut, Vaud, Switzerland
Death 20 Feb 1969 (aged 85)
Geneva, Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Burial Geneva, Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Plot Section D, Grave 390
Memorial ID 22544754 · View Source
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Conductor. Founder of the famed L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, which he led for nearly 50 years. He was particularly noted for his interpretations of French and Russian music. Ansermet was born in Vevey, Switzerland. He studied mathematics in Lausanne and at the Sorbonne, and music at the Paris Conservatory, before making his conducting debut in Montreux in 1912. As principal conductor of Diaghilev's Ballet Russes from 1915 to 1923, he guided the first performances of key works by Igor Stravinsky and accompanied the troupe on its 1916 tour of the United States. Hoping to build a world-class symphony orchestra in his homeland, Ansermet established Geneva's Orchestre Romand (later renamed the L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande) in 1918 and was its driving force for the rest of his long career. In addition he founded the National Orchestra of Argentina and for several hectic years commuted between his posts in Switzerland, with Diaghilev in Paris, and Buenos Aires. By 1940 he had more or less settled in Geneva, refusing all but occasional guest appearances abroad. Among his notable premieres were the Satie-Picasso-Cocteau ballet "Parade", which caused a riot at its 1917 opening, Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du Soldat" (1918), "The Song of the Nightingale" (1920), "Pulcinella" (1920), "Renard" (1922), "Les Noces" (1923), "Capriccio" (1929), and "Mass" (1948), Falla's "The Three-Cornered Hat" (1919), Prokofiev's "The Buffoon" (1921), Honegger's "Pacific 231" (1924) and "Rugby" (1928), Frank Martin's "In Terra Pax" (1945), and Britten's "The Rape of Lucretia" (1946). After World War II Ansermet and the OSR signed with Decca Records and in the early 1950s they were among the first to make stereo recordings of the orchestral repertoire. In his final decade he turned his attentions to the German classics (Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms), with unadorned performances that proved relevatory to later conductors. On the podium Ansermet favored clarity, precision, and strict adherence to the original score; his approach was analytical without sacrificing warmth of feeling. Something of an innovator in his prime (he championed Jazz as early as the World War I era), he later grew to detest Schoenberg and his followers and even wrote a book, "The Foundations of Music In the Human Consciousness" (1962), attacking serialism. Declining health forced him to retire at 84 in 1967.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 29 Oct 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 22544754
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ernest Ansermet (11 Nov 1883–20 Feb 1969), Find a Grave Memorial no. 22544754, citing Cimetiere des Rois, Geneva, Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland ; Maintained by Find A Grave .