Ferenc Fricsay (9 August 1914 – 20 February 1963) was a Hungarian conductor best known for his interpretations of Mozart's operas and Beethoven's symphonies, he made the first stereo recording of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1958. Fricsay was born in Budapest in 1914 and studied music under Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, Ernst von Dohnányi, and Leo Weiner. Fricsay had a meteoric rise to fame, making his first appearance as a conductor at age 15. He became music director of the then newly formed RIAS Symphony Orchestra in Germany in 1949.