The conductor Yakov Kreizberg has died

admin16th Mar 2011
Yakov Kreizberg, who has died aged 51 (Photo: Marco Borggreve / Netherlands POYakov Kreizberg, who has died aged 51 (Photo: Marco Borggreve / Netherlands PO

The Russian-born Austrian-American conductor has died in Monaco after a long illness. He was 51. At the time of his death he was chief conductor and artistic advisor of the Netherlands Philharmonic and Netherlands Chamber orchestras, music director and artistic director of the Monte-Carlo PO and principal guest conductor of the Vienna SO.

Born in Leningrad, Kreizberg was the brother of the conductor Semyon Bychkov (Kreizberg took his mother’s maiden name). He studied with Ilya Musin and having emigrated to the USA graduated from Mannes College later studying at Tanglewood with Gustav Meier, Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Bernstein and Erich Leinsdorf, as well as at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute.

From 1994 to 2001 he was general music director of the Komische Oper in Berlin and from 1995-2000 principal conductor of the Bournemouth SO. 

He recorded extensively for Pentatone, invariably as the concerto partner of the violinist Julia Fischer with whom he made a number of outstanding discs. Following Fischer’s move to Decca, Kreizberg continued to work with her and her next release, due out on April 4, finds Kreizberg conducting the Monte-Carlo PO in concertante works by Chausson, Respighi, Suk and Vaughan Williams. Kreizberg also conducts the Monte-Carlo PO on the first two releases on its own label, OPMC, which focus on the legacy of Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes and contain music by Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky. In the symphonic field he left fine recordings of Dvorák’s Symphonies Nos 5-9, Shostakovich’s Nos 5 and 9, and Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony. 

Linda Marks, his manager at HarrisonParrott, wrote that 'Yakov Kreizberg was one of the kindest, thoughtful and considerate artists I knew and it was a great privilege to work for him. He leaves behind a tremendous gap in the music world and we send our sincere condolences to his family.'

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