German-born conductor Michael Gielen has passed away in Mondsee, Austria from pneumonia – aged 91.
An assistant to luminary conductors Erich Kleiber, Karl Böhm and Wilhelm Furtwängler, Maestro Gielen went on to service principal positions with the Vienna State Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, Netherlands Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Belgian National Orchestra, Baden-Baden SWR Symphony, Freiburg SWR Symphony and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
BEETHOVEN | MASS IN D MAJOR ‘MISSA SOLEMNIS’ | MICHAEL GIELEN & SOUTHWEST GERMAN RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA | 1987
Retiring in 2014, he will be particularly remembered as a strong advocate of new music – throughout his six decade career heavily championing new works by György Ligeti, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Hans Werner Henze, Betsy Jolas, Isang Yun and Henri Pousseur.
Our condolences are with Maestro Gielen’s family, friends and colleagues.