22/10/2021 – The EUYO expresses deep sadness at the news of the passing of conductor Bernard Haitink at his home in London on Thursday. We pay tribute to a remarkable life in music, not only as one of the greatest conductors of our times and a source of inspiration for generations of musicians, but also as one of the most wonderful and generous spirited people in the world of music.
Among his numerous positions and accolades, we remember Bernard Haitink especially as Music Director of the EUYO from 1994 up until 2000, followed in 2015 with his designation as Conductor Laureate of the Orchestra.
Born in Amsterdam on 4 March, 1929, he studied violin and conducting at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, debuting as conductor with the Netherlands Radio Union Orchestra in 1954. This was the start of a rising career that has seen him leading the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for 27 years, holding leadership positions with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra among others, as well as performing numerous times with the major orchestras of the world, and teaching at many institutions as well as at the EUYO.
Bernard Haitink’s last performance with the EUYO was during the 2016 summer tour that celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Orchestra’s foundation, where he gave compelling performances of Bruckner's Seventh Symphony, a symphony closely associated with him, having recorded it with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1966 and 1979, as well as with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2007.
The world has lost one of its greatest musical figures, and our thoughts at this time are with his family and friends.
Photo © Matthias Creutziger