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Bernard Haitink: Celebrated classical conductor dies at 92

Bernard Haitink: Celebrated classical conductor dies at 92
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late on Thursday night, saying that one of the most celebrated conductors of his generation had died peacefully at his home.

It was in the Netherlands where 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 charge of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. For 27 years he was chief conductor, famed for his performances of Mahler and Bruckner.

"When he takes up the baton it s as though the electricity is switched on," his wife Patricia once said. "When it s over he s confronted with himself again."

Haitink performed with almost all of the world s big orchestras, notably in the UK with the London Philharmonic, Royal Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

His first Prom at the Royal Albert Hall was Bruckner s 65-minute Seventh Symphony in 1966, and 53 years later he performed the same symphony there for the last time.

Haitink was well known in the US for his time at the Chicago and Boston Symphony orchestras and in Germany for leading the Staatskapelle in Dresden and the Berlin Philharmonic.
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