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Bernard Haitink

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Bernard Haitink

Bernard Johan Herman Haitink

(1929-03-04)4 March 1929
Died21 October 2021(2021-10-21) (aged 92)
Occupation(s)Conductor, violinist

Bernard Haitink CH KBE (4 March 1929 – 21 October 2021) was a Dutch conductor and violinist. He won two Grammy Awards in 2004 and 2009.

Early life

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Haitink studied music at the conservatoire in Amsterdam, the town where he was born. He started his career playing the violin in orchestras. Then he learned to conduct.

He became second conductor of the Netherlands Radio Union Orchestra in 1955. He then became chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in 1957. On 7 November 1956 the famous conductor Carlo Maria Giulini was not able to conduct a concert of the Concertgebouw Orchestra so the young Bernard Haitink conducted instead. This helped him to become famous. Three years later he became a conductor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra and he stayed with them for a quarter of a century. In 1963 he became the main conductor of that orchestra, and in 1999 they gave him the title of honorary conductor.

Haitink has also had jobs outside the Netherlands. He was principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1967 to 1979, music director at Glyndebourne Opera from 1978 to 1988 and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from 1987 to 2002. He also held posts with the Dresden Staatskapelle and Boston Symphony Orchestra, and conducted many other great orchestras of the world.

In 1977, he was given an honorary knighthood in the Order of the British Empire.

Haitink had conducted music by many composers from different periods. He has recorded many great works for Phillips, Decca and EMI. In 2004 his recording of Janáček’s opera Jenufa was given the Grammy Award for the best opera recording.

Personal life

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Haitink had five children from his first marriage. He lived in Switzerland with his fourth wife, who used to be a viola player in the orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

Haitink died on 21 October 2021 in London at the age of 92.[1]


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  1. "Bernard Haitink,1929–2021". Askonas Holt. 21 October 2021.

Other websites

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