Max Reinhardt

Actor, Composer
He was born in Baden, Austria on 9/9/1873 and was of Jewish origin. He studied reciting and acting in Vienna. He made his acting debut in 1893 and in 1894 he played in the Deutsches Theater. In 1902 he established his own Small Theater [Kleines Theater], staging and directing Oscar Wilde’s Salome. During the interwar period, he was director of the German Theater in Berlin (1902-1930) and the Theater in der Josephstadt, Vienna (1924-1933). By employing powerful staging techniques and harmonizing set design, language, music and choreography, he introduced new dimensions into German theater. With assistance from esteemed directors and thanks to being in charge of one of the most prominent theater companies of the time, he dominated the European theatre scene. He founded the Reinhardt Seminars in Vienna so that he could implement and disseminate his ideas. In 1920, he established the Salzburg Festival together with composer Richard Strauss and writer Hugo Hofmannstal. His had an enormous contribution to the stage revival of ancient Greek tragedy, while his directing views significantly influenced the first tragedy staging in Greece. He collaborated with distinguished actors and painters-set designers. In 1933, when Hitler came to power in Germany, he gave up his theatres bequeathing them to the German people. In 1938, after Austria’s annexation to Germany, he immigrated initially to Britain and then to the United States, where he founded the Reinhardt School of Theatre in Hollywood. He occupied himself intensely with cinema, both in Germany (1912-1914) and in the USA (1935). He died in New York on 31/10/1943. In co-operation with composer Erich Korngold, he arranged the operetta The Bat [The Fledermaus] (1939/40) for its premiere.