Carl Schuricht with the Dresden Philharmonic

Text by Helge Grünewald (Translation by Bernd Zöllner)

After von Kempen's resignation, the 1942-43 and 1943-44 seasons were entrusted to guest conductors.
The list included Otto Matzerath (music director of the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe), Bernardino Molinari (principal conductor of the Augusteo Orchestra in Rome), Kurt Eichhorn and most important of all - Carl Schuricht who was something of a permanent guest conductor, thus assuming the duties of principal conductor in an unofficial capacity. The orchestra owes it largely to Schuricht that its high standard was maintained and that concerts were taking place under increasingly difficult wartime conditions. So it was only logical that Schuricht should be appointed to succeed van Kempen in July 1944. However, he was not able to take over his new position because the war ruled out any further concert activities. Following Goebbels's declaration of "total war", artistic institutions were closed, and the Dresden Philharmonic was disbanded. A major portion of the players were drafted into the army and the remainder assigned to jobs in the armaments industry. In the autumn of 1944 Schuricht left Germany for Switzerland. The terrible air raids carried out on the night of 13 February 1945 put a temporary end to a successful chapter of Dresden's musical history. The Gewerbehaus, home to the orchestra, was reduced to rubble like the rest of the city.

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