Obituary: Birtish Conductor Michael Graubart Dies at 93

By Francisco Salazar
(Image courtesy of Norbert Meyn)

On June 10, 2024, Austrin-born British conductor Michael Graubart died at the age of 93.

Bon on Nov. 26, 1930, Graubart was born into an Austrian-Jewish family and his family escaped to the U.K. following the murder of his uncle Richard Graubart. He went on to study physics at the University of Manchester University and worked as an electronics engineer for EMI for several years.

From there, Graubart studied composition with Mátyás Seiber, flute with Geoffrey Gilbert, and conducting with Lawrence Leonard, before becoming a teacher and conductor at Morley College. While at the college he was appointed head of department in 1969 and remained there until 1991.

Throughout his time as a teacher, Graubart also conducted professional and amateur choruses and orchestras. Among the orchestras he worked with are the Hampstead Chamber Orchestra and was the Music Director of the Focus Opera Group.

Graubart also conducted several world premieres including the opera “Isis and Osiris” by Elisabeth Lutyens in 1969 and conducted the British premiere of Viktor Ullmann’s opera “The Emperor of Atlantis” in 1981.

Later in his career, Graubart was appointed senior lecturer at the Royal Northern College of Music and in 1996 he returned from teaching. However, he continued to lecture and compose orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and choral music.

Throughout his career, Graubart published several articles and reviews in musical journals and edited early music, including operas by Monteverdi and Pergolesi. He also composed many pieces including “Aria” (1973), and a string quartet (2000).