Max Goberman (1911 – 31 December 1962) was an American conductor. He conducted ballets, Broadway musicals (including the original productions of Leonard Bernstein's On the Town and West Side Story), and the classical repertoire. He was working on the first recording of the complete symphonies of Joseph Haydn, but died while slightly less than halfway through the project.
Max Goberman was born in 1911 in Philadelphia. He studied violin with Leopold Auer, and conducting with Fritz Reiner at the Curtis Institute of Music. He was a violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra before Reiner's recommendation gained him his first conducting appointment. He was Assistant Conductor for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo's 1939 Australian tour. That year he conducted Aaron Copland's music for the documentary The City, with the narrator Morris Carnovsky.
In 1941 his first Broadway job was as Musical Director for three ballets at the Majestic Theater, including Three Virgins and a Devil by Agnes de Mille. It was Goberman who suggested that de Mille approach Morton Gould to be her collaborator in Fall River Legend – a suggestion she nearly rejected because she knew of Gould only through his radio broadcasts.
In 1960 he started a project to record all the symphonies of Joseph Haydn with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, for his own subscription label, the Library of Recorded Masterpieces. Had he survived, it would have been the first complete recording of the symphonies. He had completed only 40 (or 45) symphonies when he died suddenly at the end of 1962, aged only 51. Some of these recordings were later released on CBS's Odyssey label, but the sound was poor due to the centre channel being held back. The horn playing on Symphony No. 48 Maria Theresia is still renowned.
He started to record the complete works of Antonio Vivaldi, but this project was never realised; he did, however, record over 70 works. His recording of Vivaldi's Concerto in C for mandolin, strings and harpsichord was heard on the soundtrack of Kramer vs. Kramer. He also recorded works by Arcangelo Corelli (the 12 Concerti Grossi) and William Boyce (the 8 symphonies). In 1938 he conducted for Joseph Szigeti in a recording of works by Bach, Tartini and Mozart.
- La Danse de Puck (Spanish)
- Philip Hart, Fritz Reiner: A Biography
- Naxos – Fall River Legend
- The Beggar's Opera
- National Ballet of Cuba, 60 Years of History
- Classical Notes
- Music Web International
- Oxford Journals
- Steven Suskin, The Sound of Broadway Music: A Book of Orchestrators and Orchestrations
- Haydn House
- Music Web International – Bob Briggs
- World Cat
- Biddulph Recordings