Born: February 8, 1911 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: December 31, 1962 - Vienna, Austria
The American conductor, Max Goberman, studied violin with Leopold Auer, and conducting with Fritz Reiner at the Curtis Institute of Music. He was a violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra before Fritz Reiner's recommendation gained him his first conducting appointment.
Max Goberman, began his career in ballet. He was Assistant Conductor for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo's 1939 Australian tour. That year he conducted Aaron Copland's music for the documentary The City, with the narrator Morris Carnovsky. His first Broadawa job is notable, as music director for a program of 3 works from the Ballet Theatre repertoire at the Majestic for a month beginning on February 11, 1941. The program included Three Virgins and a Devil, a five-person Agned de Mille ballet with the ladies of the title performed by Lucia Chase, Annabelle Lyon and de Mille; the Devil by Eugene Loring; and "A Youth" by Jerome Robbins. Among the dancers in the other two ballets were Robbins, Maria Karnilova, Donald Saddler, Anthony Tudor, Anton Dolin, and Nora Kaye. It was Goberman who suggested that de Mille approach Morton Gould to be her collaborator in Fall River Legend - a suggestion she nearly rejected because she knew of Gould only through his radio broadcasts. In 1945 he conducted the film score of Histadrut, an American/Palestinian co-production. He orchestrated The Beggar's Opera and conducted it on Broadway. In 1948 Goberman he conducted at the inaugural season of the National Ballet of Cuba.
Max Goberman's first musical was Robbins and Leonard Bernstein's On the Town in 1944. He later premiered Robbins and L. Bernstein's West Side Story in 1957. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his involvement in West Side Story. His other work on Broadway included Robbins' Billion Dollar Baby (1945-1946), Balanchine's Where's Charley? (1948-1950), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1951), and Milk and Honey (1961).
In 1960 Max Goberman started a project to record all the 104 symphonies of Joseph Haydn with the Vienna State Oapera Orchestra, for his own subscription label, the Library of Recorded Masterpieces. Had he survived, it would have been the first complete recording of the symphonies. He had completed only 40 (or 45) symphonies when he died suddenly at the end of 1962, aged only 51. Some of these recordings were later released on CBS's Odyssey label, but the sound was poor due to the centre channel being held back. The horn playing on Symphony No. 48 Maria Theresia is still renowned. He started to record the complete works of Antonio Vivaldi, but this project was never realised; he did, however, record over 70 works. His recording of A. Vivaldi's Concerto in C for mandolin, strings and harpsichord was heard on the soundtrack of Kramer vs. Kramer. He also recorded works by Arcangelo Corelli (the 12 Concerti Grossi) and William Boyce (the 8 symphonies). In 1938 he conducted for Joseph Szigeti in a recording of works by Bach, Tartini and Mozart.