The leading Dutch conductor of the present day, who established his world reputation at the helm of the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, of which he was chief conductor from 1961 to 1988. He moved from there to the Royal Opera House in London, where he stayed until 2002. He is renowned for his smooth, powerful symphonic performances of Mahler, Bruckner, and Beethoven especially.

He has also been principal conductor of the LPO from 1967 to 1979, and musical director of Glyndebourne from 1978 to 1988; he also conducted The Marriage of Figaro at the gala opening of the new Glyndebourne opera house in 1994. Also from 1994 he has been the music director of the European Union Youth Orchestra. After leaving London he took up leadership of the Dresden Staatskapelle. Naturally he has been guest conductor in many other places.

Born on 4th March 1929 in Amsterdam, Haitink headed the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in 1957, and in 1961 was appointed to the Concertgebouw, anointed successor to the previous holder, Eduard van Beinum, who had died in 1959. For the first couple of years he held it jointly with Eugen Jochum. In 1999 he was granted the title of conductor laureate of the Royal Concertgebouw. He has an honorary British knighthood (KBE, 1977) for his services to Covent Garden.

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