Ackermann was born in Bucharest. He studied at the Berlin Hochschule, conducted the Royal Romanian Opera on tour when aged only 15, and then held many important appointments as operatic conductor, beginning with Düsseldorf Opera, 1928-1932 (when aged 18 to 23). Then he was at Brno, Bern and Vienna, with much travelling and concert-giving all over Europe, and recordings made with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Netherlands Philharmonic and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra.
Ackermann was a close friend of Franz Lehár and made Columbia Records recordings of his operettas, which are distinguished by their typical Viennese lilting and phrasing, despite being made with an English orchestra (the Philharmonia Orchestra). Ackermann conducted the earlier recording of the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.
E.M.I., A Complete List of His Master's Voice, Columbia, Parlophone and M.G.M. Long Playing Records, up to June 1955 (EMI, London 1955).
- Otto Ackermann (conductor) in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
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