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Bernard Haitink

Bernard Haitink

Bernard Haitink was born in 1929 in Amsterdam and his interest in music was first stimulated when, as a child, he would go to hear concerts given by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra under Willem Mengelberg. He joined the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra as a violinist but in 1954 and 1955 attended the annual courses for conductors organised by the Netherlands Radio Union. This experience led directly to his appointment in 1955 as second conductor with the Union, sharing responsibility for four radio orchestras.

Mr Haitink first attracted attention when in 1956 he substituted for Carlo Maria Giulini in a performance of Cherubini’s Requiem with the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Having become principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in the following year, he made his American debut in 1958, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and first appeared in Britain in 1959, on a tour with the Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Following the unexpected death of the Concertgebouw Orchestra’s chief conductor Eduard van Beinum, also in 1959, Haitink and Eugen Jochum were appointed joint chief conductors of the orchestra in 1961. This arrangement lasted until 1963, when Haitink assumed full responsibility for the orchestra. He was appointed chief conductor of the LPO in 1967 and, between 1970 and 1979 he was also it's artistic director. Haitink made his debut at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1972, conducting Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Two years later he succeeded Sir John Pritchard as the Festival’s chief conductor, a post that he retained until 1988.

In addition to his operatic work in London, Haitink maintained an active concert schedule. As well as regularly appearing as a guest conductor with major orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony and Vienna Philharmonic, between 1994 and 1999 he was chief conductor of the European Union Youth Orchestra, and in 1995 was appointed principal guest conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Haitink relinquished his post at Covent Garden in 2002, becoming chief conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle and also honorary conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra – the first time that such a title had been awarded in the history of the orchestra. 

Haitink’s reserved exterior is deceptive when it comes to making music. In works with which he identifies deeply, such as the symphonies of Mahler, he is able to deliver performances of great power and passion. He is without question one of the finest conductors of the symphonies of Bruckner, possessing complete command of their individual musical architecture.

Haitink has been such a ubiquitous figure in European and American musical life that it has been easy to take him for granted; this is to do him a major injustice. As his extensive recorded repertoire demonstrates, he stands in the direct line of the great European conductors of earlier generations such as Richter, Nikisch, Weingartner and Mengelberg.

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A Retrospective Volume 4

A Retrospective Volume 4

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€ 14.95
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Theo Olof Violinist

Theo Olof Violinist

Theo Olof

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Steven Staryk: Retrospective: Vol 3 J.s. Bach

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La Damnation de Faust (International edition)

La Damnation de Faust (International edition)

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€ 12.95
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10-11-2014 BR - Prisma