At the age of 92: conductor Bernard Haitink has died

Status: 10/22/2021 3:51 p.m.

With the baton in hand he achieved world fame: Bernard Haitink died in London at the age of 92. Orchestras worldwide recognized his work. The music world in Berlin and Dresden also mourns the star conductor.

The Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink has died at the age of 92. During his international career, he achieved world fame primarily with his interpretations of the works of Bruckner and Mahler.

As Haitink’s management announced, he died in his adopted home, London, with his family.

Coveted around the world on the conductor’s podium

Orchestras around the world honored the work of the star conductor, including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1961 Haitink took over the post of musical director here – and remained so for 27 years. “It was very important for our playing culture and the development of our repertoire,” said the current director of the orchestra, David Bazen, in a radio interview.

After leaving Amsterdam in 1988, Haitink directed the Royal Opera in London for 14 years. On the occasion of his death, the house paid tribute to “his extraordinary musicality, calm authority and deep respect for his artistic colleagues”.

Haitink has been invited to conduct orchestras all over the world – such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the New York, Boston, Cleveland and Chicago symphony orchestras. or the Berlin Philharmonic, which made Haitink an honorary member. Haitink was a “long-term companion and friend”.

“One of the most important contemporary conductors”

From 2002, Haitink also headed the Staatskapelle in Dresden for around two years as chief conductor. The current chief conductor of the Staatskapelle, Christian Thielemann, described him as one of the most important conductors of our time. “I adored him very much and often listened to his concerts,” said Thielemann. Haitink’s long-standing collaboration with the world’s best orchestras and his operatic activities in Covent Garden would have left indelible marks.

In 2019 Haitink gave his farewell concert on the conductor’s podium in Lucerne – with the Vienna Philharmonic and the 7th Symphony by Anton Buckner.

Haitink leaves behind his wife Patricia. He was the father of three daughters and two sons. The Dutch royal family sent their condolences to the conductor’s family. “We remember Bernard Haitink with admiration and gratitude,” said King Willem-Alexander and his wife Máxima in a statement.

Dutch star conductor Bernard Haitink dies at the age of 92

Ralf Lachmann, ARD The Hague, 22.10.2021 · 14:58

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