Music: Wagnerian Conductor

In 1915, while German U-boats were ranging the Atlantic traffic lanes, a gaunt and hawklike Austrian arrived in Manhattan. He spoke no English, but his first act was to make a translated statement to the press: "I hope to please the American public and if I do I shall become a citizen of your country. I do not wish to be known as a Wagnerian conductor, as I love the operas of all nations." Month later, stepping into the Metropolitan's orchestra pit recently vacated by Arturo Toscanini and his bald, black-bearded co-worker Alfred Hertz,...

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