Try conducting?

Possibly due to overwork, Klaus develops a ganglion, a lump on his left ring finger. Since it didn´t improve, he desperately considered what to do now. His goal in life - to become a concertmaster in a large orchestra - had been shattered in one fell swoop. And now? Maybe try conducting?

Fortunately, he wasn’t fired right away. Since he played the piano very well and could sight-read, he was employed as a répétiteur – he accompanied singers from the piano, studied their roles and played for rehearsals. This worked quite well despite his problematic fourth finger. He played and conducted small pieces of stage music, helped out, stood in, whatever was needed.

In the 1950-51 season Horst-Tanu Margraf was appointed music director at the Halle theater. He

recognized the young Tennstedt's talent and kept an  eye out for suitable opportunities for him.                           Horst-Tanu Margraf  

Klaus Tennstedt: Horst-Tanu Margraf was a good conductor, he helped me a lot. Not by giving me tips, but one day the first conductor fell ill. On the programme one night was the opera Der Guenstling by Rudolf Wagner-Régeny. I had already rehearsed it with the soloists and knew it inside out. I had never stood in front of an orchestra though, never even held a baton. Margraf said, "How would you feel about filling in tonight?" I thought the man was crazy, but in the end I said yes.
Kurt Masur: The boss loved him so much that he stood at his side ready to step in if need be, because he wasn´t sure if Klaus could manage the whole opera.

Find out if he did! 

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