Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink, former principal conductor of the London Philharmonic, has died at the age of 92.
Haitink was one of the most revered conductors of his generation, having debuted with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in the 1950s.
He was Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic from 1967 to 1979, Music Director of Glyndebourne Opera in England for a decade until 1988, and Music Director of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden from 1987 to 2002. He later became principal conductor of the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, and was conductor of the Dutch Concertgebouworkest Orchestra from 1961 to 1988.
Haitink has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his services to music. He was made Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1977 and Honorary Companion of Honor in 2002.
He was also made Commander of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands and Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters in France. His management company said in a statement that he passed away peacefully at home with his wife and family on Thursday.
Sir Simon Rattle was among those who paid tribute: âIt’s so hard to imagine that Bernard has left us: he was a constant presence and inspiration to all his fellow musicians, and the world seems a smaller and less place. generous this morning. â¦ He was one of the rare giants of our time, and even rarer and more precious, a giant full of humility.
Haitink has had a long and influential career in England. He succeeded Colin Davis as Music Director of the Royal Opera in 1987 and held the position until 2002. Among the highlights of his tenure was a Graham Vick production of Verdi’s Falstaff which reopened the Royal Opera House renovated in December 1999.
Haitink was principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2006-10, between terms of musical directors Daniel Barenboim and Riccardo Muti, and became guest principal conductor of the Boston Symphony from 1995 to 2004. He also was principal conductor of the EU Youth Orchestra from 1994 to 2000.
He has conducted 111 performances with the Vienna Philharmonic, making his debut in February 1972 and conducting the ensemble on tour in Costa Mesa, Calif., And Carnegie Hall in 2002. He has conducted his last four concerts with this orchestra. at the age of 90 in 2019, the Beethoven and Bruckner programs in Salzburg, Austria; London; and Lucerne, Switzerland.
It has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards and won two, for an opera recording in 2003 with the Royal Opera for Janacek’s JenÅ¯fa and for the 2008 orchestral performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Symphony No.4 by Shostakovich.
His recordings include Beethoven and Brahms symphonic cycles for the London Symphony Orchestra’s LSO Live label, as well as an extensive library for Phillips and EMI.