He was born in Stettin, Pomerania (now Szczecin, Poland). His father was an organist and music teacher. He studied under Hugo Kaun and other teachers. By the age of 20, in 1906, he was conducting in Wiesbaden, and was assistant conductor for the Bayreuth Festival 1907-14. He was Generalmusikdirektor in Dessau 1927-34.
After the Nazis came to power in Germany, Rother joined the Militant League for German Culture (Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur) 1933 for one year, but was not a member of the Nazi Party.
From 1934 he conducted at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, succeeding Bruno Walter, and was appointed Generalmusikdirektor there in 1937. In 1941, he brought out his own edition of Mozart's Idomeneo. Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt succeeded him. From 1946 to 1949 he was chief conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, based in East Berlin. Subsequently, he was a guest conductor of the RIAS Symphony Orchestra and the Städtische Oper Berlin. He was guest conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1960-61, and an honorary member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 1965. Between 1935 and 1964, he conducted 41 concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic(and also concerts in Paris and Spain.)
He died in Aschau im Chiemgau in 1972, aged 86.
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor"
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4
Recorded in 1944 in stereo & 1951 in mono
Total duration: 68:20
Walter Gieseking piano
Berlin Reichsender Orchestra
Artur Rother conductor
Herbert von Karajan conductor