He was musical director of the Houston Symphony in 1954. He spent much of his time from the 1950s onward in Germany as music director of the Bavarian State Opera (1956–1958) and as conductor of the RIAS Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Berlin Philharmonic. From the 1950s until his death, he recorded for the Deutsche Grammophon record label. Fricsay gave his last concert on 7 December 1961 in London where he conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.
He suffered from repeated illnesses throughout his life and finally succumbed to cancer on 20 February 1963 at the age of 48 in Basel, Switzerland. Fricsay was known for his interpretations of the music of Mozart and Beethoven, as well as that of his teacher Béla Bartók. His 1958 recording of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 is featured in the movie A Clockwork Orange. Fricsay's recordings have a significant cult following among classical music devotees. Read more on Last.fm.
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