- Robert M. Gifford
Walter, Bruno (15 September 1876–17 February 1962), conductor, pianist, and composer, was born Bruno Walter Schlesinger in Berlin, Germany, the son of Joseph Schlesinger, a bookkeeper, and Johanna Fernbach. His childhood was spent in modest, lower-middle-class surroundings in the northeastern part of Berlin, where he was influenced by the literary and musical interests of his parents. He began musical studies with his mother, a student at the Stern Conservatory, and when he was only eight years old he was admitted as a student at Stern. At age nine he performed a piano solo in a public recital, after which he received free tuition at the conservatory. His progress as a pianist was rapid, as evidenced by his appearance as soloist in the Moscheles E-flat major concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1889....