The Viennese-born Tandler moved to Los Angeles in 1908 and for several years played with a string quartet in the Alexandria Hotel. In November 1913 he became the conductor of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, the forerunner of the Philharmonic, a position he held until the orchestra's dissolution in 1920. Professionally, Tandler returned to Germany to serve as the conductor of the International Music Festival in Salzburg, became the conductor of the American Chamber Symphony in 1934, and played viola with the Philharmonic Orchestra before retiring in 1951. On September 30, 1953, the bodies of Tandler, 78, and his 50-year-old daughter, Hedwig, crippled by arthritis since age 14, were found in a parked car on a hillside in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles where the pair had often driven to enjoy the view. A hose led from the car's exhaust pipe into the closed interior of the auto. The maestro left three notes, one of which lamented that he was unable to make his wife happy.