Opera Scotland

Aylmer Buesst Suggest updates

Born Melbourne, 28 January 1883.

Died St Albans, 25 January 1970.

Australian conductor.

Aylmer Buesst studied in Melbourne before moving to Europe. After further training in Brussels and London, Buesst worked for a period at Leipzig under Nikisch. Staying in Germany, he had contracts at Breslau and Gorlitz.

He later moved to Britain, firstly joining the Moody-Manners Company (1914-16).

After war service Buesst joined the Beecham Company (1918-20). One of the founders of the BNOC, he conducted them from 1922-28. He married May Blyth, a soprano with BNOC, in 1924.

Remarkably, Buesst was the conductor of the first complete opera broadcast (Hansel and Gretel from Covent Garden, 6 Jan 1923).

Subsequent engagements included a period as Assistant Music Director of the BBC (1933-36). 

Buesst was also (1939-40) conductor of the Scottish Orchestra, a forerunner of the RSNO.

Buesst was admired particularly for his Wagner interpretations, and wrote a highly influential analysis of The Ring.

In 1927, he conducted one of the first complete opera recordings, Cavalleria Rusticana, using BNOC forces.  The cast was:  May Blyth (Santuzza);  Marjorie Parry (Lola);  Justine Griffiths (Mamma Lucia);  Heddle Nash (Turiddu); Harold Williams (Alfio).

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