Music: Talk about Cleveland

Guest Conductor George Szell (pronounced Sell) had really sold himself. When he led the Cleveland Orchestra in December the house was jammed, the audience thundered applause, and the Cleveland critics raved. Last week Cleveland signed Conductor Szell to a three-year contract—on his own terms. His salary: more than $30,000 a year, the largest ever paid to a Cleveland conductor.

Szell, 48, is a tall, near-bald, thick-spectacled Czech-Hungarian, who conducted the Berlin State Opera B.H. (Before Hitler). A stern, formal leader, he has since 1942 conducted some of the Metropolitan Opera's best-disciplined performances. He...

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