Bernard Haitink was born on 4 March 1929 in Amsterdam. He studied violin and conducting at the conservatory of his hometown and was subsequently a violinist in the orchestra of the Dutch Radio. In 1955 he obtained his first engagement as a conductor and from 1964 to 1988 he conducted the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam. During this time Haitink was also principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1977 he took over the direction of the Glyndebourne Festival and became Music Director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1986. Haitink is Honorary Conductor of the Concertgebouworkest and Guest Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; in autumn 2002 he succeeded Giuseppe Sinopoli, who died in April 2001, as Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden for two years. From 2006 to 2010 he was Principal Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Bernard Haitink is one of the leading conductors in opera and concert.
His repertoire includes the major works of the Classical and Romantic periods as well as contemporary compositions. Haitink has received numerous awards and honors. In 1977 he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, and in 2013 he received the Echo Klassik for the best symphonic recording of 19th century music (Mahler, Symphony No. 9 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra).
The secret of his success is to inspire an orchestra: "The most important thing is to motivate an orchestra. Don't raise a barrier - open a channel."
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in G, Op. 58
Symphony No. 7 in E, WAB 107