Bernard Johan Herman Haitink, CH, KBE (born 4 March 1929) is a Dutch conductor and violinist. Haitink was born in Amsterdam, the son of Willem Haitink and Anna Haitink. He studied music at the conservatoire in Amsterdam. He played the violin in orchestras before taking courses in conducting under Ferdinand Leitner in 1954 and 1955. Haitink became second conductor of the Netherlands Radio Union Orchestra in 1955. He took the post of chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in 1957. His conducting debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra was on 7 November 1956, substituting for Carlo Maria Giulini. After the sudden death of Eduard van Beinum, Haitink was named first conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra on 1 September 1959. He became principal conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1961, and shared that position jointly with Eugen Jochum until 1963, when Haitink became sole principal conductor. In the early 1980s, Haitink threatened to resign his Concertgebouw post in protest at threatened reductions to its government subsidy by the Dutch government, which could potentially have led to the dismissal of 23 musicians from the orchestra. The financial situation was eventually settled, and Haitink remained as chief conductor until 1988. In 1999, he was named the honorary conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Outside of the Netherlands, Haitink was principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1967 to 1979. Haitink also served as the...
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