Hans Richter made his English conducting debut at the age of thirty-four during London’s 1877 Wagner Festival, which began on 7 May and ended on 29 May. It was the beginning of a glorious English career for the young maestro, as remarkable for its longevity as for its many musical triumphs. Surely no one at that festival could have divined that this dedicated Wagner disciple would become a mainstay on England’s podiums for the next three decades. The scope of his orchestral activity in England progressed from the Wagner Festival to the Richter Concerts (1879–1902), to the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester (1899–1911), to the inaugural conductorship of the London Symphony Orchestra (1904–11). A great affinity for German opera in general and Wagner in particular took him to Drury Lane (1882) and Covent Garden...

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