Famous Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink died at his London home at the age of 92.
He has conducted the best orchestras in the world in London, Amsterdam, Chicago and Dresden over a career of 65 years.
Born in Amsterdam in 1929, Haitink has won numerous awards and has been a leading figure in the UK classical music scene.
Even in his last months on the podium his performances with the London Symphony Orchestra have been described as “fascinating”.
Haitink has made over 450 recordings and has seen his work embrace the orchestra without smothering it.
His management company announced his death late Thursday evening, saying that one of the most celebrated conductors of his generation had died peacefully at his home.
It was in the Netherlands that Bernard Haitink forged his reputation as a conductor, starting his musical career as a violinist after spending much of his childhood under Nazi occupation.
His big break came with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and within six years he was asked to take over the lead of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra. For 27 years he was principal conductor, famous for his interpretations of Mahler and Bruckner.
“When he takes the baton it is as if the electricity is on,” his wife Patricia once said. “When it’s over he confronts himself again.”
Haitink has performed with almost every major orchestra in the world, most notably in the UK with the London Philharmonic, the Royal Opera and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Her first prom at the Royal Albert Hall was Bruckner’s 65-minute Seventh Symphony in 1966, and 53 years later she performed the same symphony there for the last time.
Haitink was well known in the United States for his time at the Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras and in Germany for leading the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Berlin Philharmonic.
- Classic music
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