Franz-Paul Decker Biography (Wikipedia)
Franz-Paul Decker (June 22, 1923 – May 19, 2014) was a German-born conductor.
Decker was born in Cologne, Germany, where he studied at the Hochschule für Musik with Philip Jarnach and Eugen Papst. He made his conducting début at the age of 22 at the Cologne Opera, and four years later was appointed to the Staatsoper Wiesbaden and subsequently to the positions of conductor of the Wiesbaden Symphony Orchestra and Generalmusikdirecktor in Bochum. In 1948, Decker was introduced to the composer Richard Strauss at a card game of whist. Strauss casually mentioned that he had just finished orchestrating four songs he had recently composed (the Four Last Songs).
Although comfortable conducting virtually any work in the orchestral repertoire, Decker was famous for his mastery and approach to the music of Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Anton Bruckner, Max Reger and Gustav Mahler. His performances of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven were praised for their balance and clarity. His approach to Spanish and South American music was bold and charismatic. He conducted the world premieres of dozens of orchestral works by Canadian composers, and conducted 85 different operas during his distinguished career.
Franz-Paul Decker Tracks