Bernard Haitink, Conductor Who Let Music Speak for Itself, Dies at 92


Mr. Haitink referred to his youth as his “lazy days.”

“I wasn’t silly,” he defined, “however I simply wasn’t there. Half the time we had been taught underneath our desks due to air raids. However even when issues grew to become regular, I wasn’t . Possibly this is the reason now, when I’m over 70, that folks at all times ask me why I work so arduous.”

He started enjoying the violin at age 9 and later studied on the Amsterdam Conservatory. He joined the second violin part of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra however was insecure about his talents as a violinist. After taking a conducting course, he was appointed conductor of the orchestra in 1955 at age 26.

Mr. Haitink, who as soon as mentioned that “every conductor, including myself, has a sell-by date,” formally retired throughout his ninetieth 12 months after an acclaimed farewell tour of European summer time festivals. Reviewing his live performance with the Vienna Philharmonic on the Royal Albert Corridor in London on that tour, the critic Erica Jeal wrote that the “final phrase needed to be from Bruckner.”

“Haitink, as ever, emphasised magnificence over construction,” she wrote, “but didn’t permit the music’s sense of form to slacken for a second.”

His intensive recordings embody, for the Philips label, the entire symphonies of Bruckner, Mahler, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Schumann; the entire symphonies of Elgar and Vaughan Williams, for EMI; the entire symphonies of Shostakovich, for Decca; the entire Debussy orchestral works, additionally for Philips; and Beethoven and Brahms symphony cycles for the London Symphony Orchestra’s LSO Dwell label.

Mr. Haitink was married 4 instances and had a number of kids and grandchildren. Full info on his survivors was not instantly obtainable.

In 2011, in another interview with The Guardian, Mr. Haitink mused on the unusual lifetime of a conductor. “I’ve been doing this job for 50 years,” he mentioned. “And, you already know, it’s a career and it isn’t a career. It’s very obscure typically. What makes an excellent conductor? What is that this factor about charisma? I’m nonetheless questioning in spite of everything these years.”



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