Julius Rudel (born 6 March 1921) is an American opera and orchestra conductor who emigrated to the United States from Austria at the age of 17 and studied conducting at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. He then forged a 35-year career with the New York City Opera, from 1944 to 1979, and was the Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Between 1958 and 1963 he conducted frequently for the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company, also serving as the company's Artistic Director for part of that time. In 1978, he first conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, making his debut with Werther. He has also won a Grammy Award.
Rudel was born in Vienna and was a student at the city's Academy of Music, but left Austria in 1938 after the country was annexed by Germany. After completing his music studies in the United States, he joined the New York City Opera, making his conducting debut in 1944. After rising to Principal Conductor and General Director in 1957, he brought the company international acclaim with his innovative programming (including three seasons of all-American operas, in 1958, 1959, and 1960), and formed a partnership with Beverly Sills, who became the leading soprano of the NYCO. It was Rudel who led the company to their new home at the State Theater in Lincoln Center in 1966, opening with Ginastera's Don Rodrigo starring the young Plácido Domingo.
Rudel has conducted major orchestras and operas throughout the world. In 1979, he accepted the position of Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, succeeding Michael Tilson Thomas. He led the BPO through the 1985 season. He was the first Music Director of both Washington's Kennedy Center and the Wolf Trap Festival, and from 1962 to 1976 he was Music Director of the Caramoor Festival.
In 2009 he was honored by the American National Endowment for the Arts for his many contributions to Opera.
Abridged Discography 
- Floyd: The Sojourner and Mollie Sinclair (Neway, Treigle; 1963) [live] VAI
- Handel: Giulio Cesare (Sills, Wolff, Forrester, Treigle; 1967) RCA
- Ginastera: Bomarzo (Novoa; 1967) CBS
- Massenet: Manon (Sills, Gedda, Souzay, Bacquier; 1970) Westminster
- Offenbach: Les contes d'Hoffmann (Sills, Marsee, Burrows, Treigle; 1972) Westminster
- Donizetti: Anna Bolena (Sills, Verrett, Burrows, Plishka; 1972) Westminster
- Bellini: I puritani (Sills, Gedda, L.Quilico, Plishka; 1973) Westminster
- Boito: Mefistofele (Caballé, Domingo, Treigle; 1973) EMI
- Massenet: Thaïs (Moffo, Carreras, Bacquier, Díaz; 1974) RCA
- Charpentier: Louise (Sills, Gedda, van Dam; 1977) EMI
- Lehár: Die lustige Witwe: excerpts (Sills, H.Price, Titus; 1978) EMI
- Massenet: Cendrillon (Welting, von Stade, Gedda; 1978) CBS
- Verdi: Rigoletto (Sills, Kraus, Milnes, Ramey; 1978) EMI
- Weill: Der Silbersee (Grey; 1980) Nonesuch
Abridged Videography 
- Donizetti: Roberto Devereux (Sills, Marsee, J.Alexander, Fredricks; Capobianco, 1975) [live] VAI
- Verdi: La traviata (Sills, H.Price, Fredricks; Capobianco, 1976) [live] VAI
- Massenet: Manon (Sills, H.Price, Fredricks, Ramey; Capobianco, 1977) [live] Paramount
- Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila (Verrett, Domingo, Brendel; Joël, 1981) [live] Kultur
- Giordano: Andrea Chénier (Tomowa-Sintow, Domingo, Zancanaro; Hampe, 1985) [live] Kultur
- Strange Child of Chaos: Norman Treigle, by Brian Morgan, iUniverse, 2006. ISBN 0-595-38898-1
- First and Lasting Impressions: Julius Rudel Looks Back on a Life in Music, by Julius Rudel and Rebecca Paller, University of Rochester Press, 2013. ISBN 978-1-58046-434-5
- Interview with Julius Rudel by Bruce Duffie, November 1, 1982 (Published in the "Massenet Newsletter" in July, 1983)
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