Karajan, Herbert von

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Karajan, Herbert von Gender: M
born on 5 April 1908 at 22:30 (= 10:30 PM )
Place Salzburg, Austria, 47n48, 13e02
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 15°41' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 14°26 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 28°12'

Herbert von Karajan
photo: Posse, Edith, license cc-by-sa-3.0-de


Austrian conductor, pianist and recording artist, the controversial icon of the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic who dominated post-war music in Europe. He made some 900 recordings which have sold more than 150 million copies. Von Karajan is considered the last great conductor of our time, the "Janus" figure of modern music who bridged the 19th and 20th centuries with celebrated precision, unbelievably high standards and an ego that matched his achievement. In the late '50s and '60s, he was simultaneously music director of the Berlin Philharmonic, artistic advisor of La Scala, artistic director of the Salzburg festival, artistic director of the Vienna State Opera and music director of the London Philharmonic. He earned the unofficial title of "General music director of Europe."

Von Karajan was born in Salzburg, just around the corner from Mozart's second home, the son of a clarinet-playing surgeon, Ernst von Karajan and Martha Cosmac. His father's ancestry, originally Macedonian Greeks, included two professors of literature. He didn't recall having a happy childhood, just "aloof" parents where "nobody ever took charge." A child prodigy, he took piano lessons at the age of three and made his first concert appearance, a charitable event, at age five. He studied piano and conducting at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and then at the Vienna Academy of Music, where he made his debut as a conductor 12/17/1928. Von Karajan first worked at the Ulm Staattheater in Ulm, Germany, where he conducted his first opera, "The Marriage of Figaro," a month before his 21st birthday. He remained in Ulm from 1929 to 1934. He next went to Aachen, where be became Germany's youngest general music director, conducting both opera and symphony concerts. He also began conducting abroad and at the Berlin Opera, winning the accolade of "The Wunder Karajan."

He began his long affiliation with the Salzburg Festival in 1948, and in 1956 became its artistic director. In 1955, he took on the Berlin Philharmonic, the same year as his first U.S. performance, and a year later became artistic director of the Vienna State Opera. For eight years, he simultaneously directed all three ultra-prestigious institutions with an iron fist. In 1964, he resigned the Vienna Opera post after the Austrian government accused him of excessive financial demands.

Von Karajan set himself up for lifelong criticism when he joined the Nazi party in Salzburg and Ulm in 1933. Though he insisted later that his interest was career advancement for survival, rather than political conviction, he performed regularly for top Nazis and included the Nazi anthem in his concerts. In 1939, Hitler personally appointed him state conductor in Berlin. He was excused from military duty and continued conducting throughout World War II.

After the war Von Karajan was banned from concert halls for two years, and because of the Nazi affiliation, certain Jewish musicians--Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman--refused to perform with him. During the years when he was banned from the public, he focused on his recording career, and at one point accounted for half the sales of DG, the world's largest classical label. When he was allowed to perform again in public, he became conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. His greatest triumphs, however, were in Germany with the Berlin Philharmonic, which he built into what many considered to be a world standard and of which he was made "conductor for life" in 1954. He resigned from the Berlin Philharmonic 4/24/1989, several months before his death.

He made a number of symphonic films in the '60s and '70s and some opera films as well, then broke away to form his own company, Telemondial, which gave him the final edit he needed. Fascinated by technology, he helped pioneer the compact disc and video compact disc, and one of his hobbies was acoustical research.

Considered to be music's last "Renaissance man," von Karajan was a voracious reader, with interest in everything from linguistics to psychology. He sponsored scientific research on the nature of the music. He piloted his own jet plane, raced his sailing sloop, and drove sports cars--recklessly, some said. At the age of 75 he obtained his license to pilot helicopters.

A devotee of yoga and Zen Buddhism, he conducted scores completely from memory with hypnotic blue gray eyes tightly closed, as if in a trance. Nothing in a von Karajan performance was left to chance, and it is said that he achieved "massive emotional effects through specific intellectual means."

The recipient of numerous awards, he won the Mozart Ring in Vienna in 1957, the Prix France-Allemagne in 1970, Finland's Order of the White Rose, and in 1973, the rank of Honorary Citizen of West Berlin.

He divorced his first two wives during the war years; Elmy Holgerloef, an operetta soprano, and Anita Gutermann, who caused him problems with the Nazis because of her Jewish grandparent. He married his third and last wife, Eilette Mouret, a former French model, in 1958. They had two daughters, Arabelle (1960?) and Isabelle (1964?). He was hit with a paternity claim on 1/08/1987 by Ute de Doncker, claiming that she had been adopted and had spent years trying to find her real parents. Doncker had found her mother in Berlin, who told her that von Karajan was allegedly her father.

His health was plagued with back problems dating back to the age of 12 when he injured himself climbing with friends, and in later years he was crippled by spinal and circulatory disorders that left him barely able to walk. Following a stroke and three spinal operations, he had still been scheduled to conduct the opening opera of the Salzburg Festival, Verdi's "Ballo in Maschera," but died so unexpectedly that no understudy had been prepared to substitute for him. His death on 7/16/1989 in Anif, Austria, was due to heart failure.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • business associate/partner relationship with Abbado, Claudio (born 26 June 1933)


  • Work : New Career 17 December 1928 at 12:00 midnight in Vienna, Austria (Debut as a conductor)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change residence 1929 (Moved to Ulm, Germany)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released March 1929 at 12:00 midnight in Ulm, Germany (Conducted first opera)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Joined group 1933 at 12:00 midnight in Ulm, Germany (Nazi party in Ulm, Germany)
  • Social : Joined group 1933 at 12:00 midnight in Salzburg, Austria (Nazi Party in Salzburg, Austria)
  • Work : Gain social status 1939 at 12:00 midnight in Berlin, Germany (Appointed state conductor by Hitler)
  • Work : New Job 1948 at 12:00 midnight in Salzburg, Austria (Music director, Salzburg Festival)
  • Work : Prize 1954 at 12:00 midnight in Berlin, Germany (Named "conductor for life" of Berlin Philharmonic)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1955 (First U.S. performance)
  • Work : New Job 1955 at 12:00 midnight in Berlin, Germany (Musical Director, Berlin Philharmonic)
  • Work : New Job 1956 at 12:00 midnight in Salzburg, Austria (Artistic Director, Salzburg Festival)
  • Work : New Job 1956 at 12:00 midnight in Vienna, Austria (Artistic Director, Vienna State Opera)
  • Work : Prize 1957 at 12:00 midnight in Vienna, Austria (Mozart Ring)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1958 (Third marriage, Eilette Mouret)
  • Other Work 1964 at 12:00 midnight in Vienna, Austria (Resigned Vienna Opera Post)
  • Work : Prize 1970 (The Prix France-Allemagne)
  • Work : Prize 1973 (Honorary Citizen of West Berlin)
  • Crime : Law suit 8 January 1987 (Paternity suit by Ute de Doncker)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Other Work 24 April 1989 at 12:00 midnight in Berlin, Germany (Resigned from Berlin Philharmonic)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Ruth Dewey quotes Ebertin from C.M. Feurback, B.R. PC gave 10:00 PM as "recorded"

Sy Scholfield quotes "Herbert von Karajan" by Ernst Haeusserman (F. Molden, 1978), p. 19: "Geboren wurde ich am 5. April 1908, es war ein Sonntag um 11 Uhr nachts." Translation: I was born on April 5, 1908, it was a Sunday at 11 o'clock at night. NOTE: This would give a 3° Sagittarius ascendant.


  • Traits : Mind : Child prodigy (Studying piano by age three)
  • Traits : Personality : Perfectionist (Precise)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Stroke
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Heart (Failure, fatal)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Bone (Back problems from age 12)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Surgery (Three spinal operations)
  • Family : Childhood : Abuse - Neglect (Parents aloof, no one took charge)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (Third marriage, 31 years)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (Two)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Two)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Travel for work (Tours, guest conductor)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Outdoors (Sports cars)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Sports (Sailing)
  • Passions : Criminal Victim : Lawsuit sued (Paternity suit filed against him)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Eastern (Zen Buddhism)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Meditation (Yoga)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 81)
  • Vocation : Business : Business owner (Telemondial, film company)
  • Vocation : Business : Middle Management (Music/art director)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Child performer (Debut at five)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Conductor
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Piano)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Business : Director (Music/art director of several music orgs.)
  • Vocation : Politics : Nazi party (Member of Party)
  • Vocation : Travel : Pilot/ private (Airplanes, helicopters)
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Mozart Ring, others)
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Helped to pioneer CD's)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : American Book