Biography of van Kempen Paul:
Dutch conductor Paul van Kempen (1893-1955) left only a comparatively small legacy on record, mostly for Polydor, Deutsche Grammophon and Philips. Van Kempen had studied at the Amsterdam Conservatoire from 1910-13, and at the age of twenty joined the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Willem Mengelberg. During early stages of his career, he continued to play the violin, holding the position of orchestra leader in Posen, Bad Nauheim, and Dortmund. He made his conducting debut in Oberhausen, where he was made chief conductor in 1932. In October 1933 he conducted his first concert with the Berlin Philharmonic in an all-Wagner programme. From 1934 to 1942 he was music director of the Dresden Philharmonic, and in 1942 took over from von Karajan as chief conductor in Aachen, staying there until 1944. After the war he was found not to have been a Nazi sympathizer, but due to his work in Germany he was initially largely unwelcome in the Netherlands. Between 1945 and 1949 he directed the annual conductors’ course at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, and pursued an active career as a guest conductor. He became chief conductor of the Radio Hilversum Philharmonic Orchestra in 1949, and in the ensuing years made recordings with both this orchestra and a number of others, including the Concertgebouw, Lamoureux, and Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestras. He returned to Germany in 1953 on his appointment as chief conductor in Bremen, but he died as early as December 1955, in consequence to a liver disease.