Hubert Deutsch (born 3 May 1925) is an Austrian conductor and administrator closely connected to the Vienna State Opera.
Deutsch was born in Vienna, only child to Ernst and Maria Deutsch. His father was from Moravia and worked until retirement as an official on the Austrian State Railways. Son of a district judge, he was a quiet scholarly man who held an encyclopaedic knowledge of flowers and plants, passion he transmitted to his son during their walks in the countryside.
His mother, Maria Deutsch, born in Slovenia, was a most resourceful woman who, at the time of the “Anschluss” persuaded the Nazi authorities to let her husband free after having been taken under custody. At the end of the Second World War, a time of acute shortage of food and resources in Vienna, she managed to get employed at a United States Army base, gaining access to provisions to sustain her family.
After attending elementary school
in Vienna, Hubert Deutsch received a classical grammar school education and acquired fluency in English language
from an English aunt who lived in an adjacent apartment to that of his family. But he was, above all, an enthusiastic opera follower, often seen with his friends standing in the balcony of the Vienna State Opera. This love for opera was the inspiration that led him to start a music career at the Vienna Academy of Music and Art
. Among others, his teachers were: Grete Hinterhofer in pianoforte, Josef Marx in music theory
, and Professor Hans Swarowsky
Soon after obtaining his degree in 1951, Hubert Deutsch was engaged as a conductor and coach by the Landesteater in Linz. At that time, Austria was divided into military zones of occupation. The River Danube was the border between the American and Sovietic zones, with Linz in the American zone and its sister town, Urfahr, in the Sovietic one. As part of a daily routine, Hubert Deutsch, who lived then in Urfahr, had to show his passport at the Sovietic checkpoint on his way to the Landestheater. He lived there for four years, also teaching opera at the Brückner Conservatory in Linz.
The Vienna State Opera
He joined the Vienna State Opera on the 1st May 1955, initially as a coach and conductor of the stage orchestra. In 1958, he became Director of the Music Archives. In 1961, he was appointed Coordinator in the Administration. Followed by a position as Deputy Artistic Administrator in 1962, he succeeded to the post of Artistic Administrator in 1976. In 1985, he became Director of Planning and in 1990 consultant to the Administrative Director. From 1992 to 1995, he was also Vice-Director Deputy to Ioan Holender
Deutsch has received several awards for his work with the Vienna State Opera
, culminating in 1995 with the 'Österreichische Ehrenzeichen für Wissenschaft und Kunst', Class 1. He represented the Vienna State Opera abroad: New York
, and London
also participating as a member of the jury in international singing competitions.
Deutsch is an expert on the history of the Hapsburg monarchy and its association with the opera house. His paper, Fifty Five Years of the Vienna State Opera (1937-1992)', describes the opera both from the standpoint of the audience and from the perspective of a staff member.