Rhinegold

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Sir Jeffrey Tate (28 April 1943 – 2 June 2017)

9:27, 5th June 2017

British conductor Sir Jeffrey Tate has died aged 74, following a heart attack while rehearsing in Bergamo, Italy.

Tate was born with spina bifida, and also had kyphosis. At the time of his death, he was chief conductor with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, a position he had assumed in 2009. In 2014, the orchestra extended his contract through 2019.

A trained doctor, he gave up a career in medicine to study music at the London Opera Centre. He became a repetiteur and a coach at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under the tutelage of Sir Georg Solti.

Tate made his conducting debut with the Metropolitan Opera in 1979. In 1985, he was appointed the first principal conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra, and the following year became the first person to hold the title of principal conductor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a post he held until 1993.

Other posts included principal conductor with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (1991-95), music director of the San Carlo Theatre of Naples (2005-2010), and principal guest conductor and artistic advisor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (2016/17).

Tate was appointed president of UK Spina Bifida charity Shine in 1989, and was recently knighted for services to music.

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