Shocking news – conductor dies at 51

Word has just been released of the death of Yakov Kreizberg after a long illness.

He was chief conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic and the chamber orchestra. He last conducted them in Amsterdam on February 14.
I knew him at Glyndebourne and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, fill of vim and ambition, brilliant in Russian and Czech repertory. A courteous man with the sweetest smile, he came from a turbulent background and was on difficult terms with some family members, including his brother Semyon Bychkov. Their rivalry was a byword in the music business. Kreizberg took his mother’s surname to avoid confusion. I hope they settled their differences in time.
Yakov was married to the conductor Amy Andersson; they had two sons.
Here’s a tribute from his agent, Linda Marks.
And here’s Yakov’s website: http://www.yakovkreizberg.com/

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  • I’m shocked by this tragic news. I first met Kreizberg when he studied at Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute under Bernstein and Tilson-Thomas. As he was then just a “starving student” I took him out to eat…we joked about being related (Kransberg/Kreizberg). I should’ve been so fortunate. Yakov Kreizberg was a great talent and intellectual. Too young to have left us, that’s for sure.

  • Paul Mann says:

    This is horrible, shocking news. I was Yakov’s assistant conductor in Bournemouth from 1996-8. He was the kindest, most generous-natured of men and a wonderful musician. I learnt so much from him, and will never forget the encouragement and help he gave me at a crucial time. (Not to mention his endless repertoire of jokes.) My heart goes out to his family for their terrible loss.

  • Andrew Morris says:

    A huge loss. I found him as interesting to watch as to listen to. He moved on the podium like no one else – always supremely clear and flowing in his motions. I remember a tremendously powerful Shostakovich 4th Symphony with the LPO at the festival hall a few years ago, alongside a Dvorak Violin Concert from a violinist with whom was closely associated – Julia Fischer. They made some fantastic records together. How sad that we’ll never know how much he would have achieved.

  • Andrew Morris says:

    A huge loss. I found him as interesting to watch as to listen to. He moved on the podium like no one else – always supremely clear and flowing in his motions. I remember a tremendously powerful Shostakovich 4th Symphony with the LPO at the festival hall a few years ago, alongside a Dvorak Violin Concert from a violinist with whom was closely associated – Julia Fischer. They made some fantastic records together. How sad that we’ll never know how much he would have achieved.

  • MusikAnT says:

    What a shock to read this. I didn’t even realize Kreizberg was in his 50s, let alone suffering from illness. He was a very fine conductor. I remember in particular a powerful performance of the Shostakovich 11th with the Los Angeles Philharmonic some years back; very impressive.
    I have quite a few of his recordings too. Especially fine was his recording of Franz Schmidt’s 4th Symphony. Never thought I’d hear the recording that would surpass the VPO/Mehta, but Kreizberg did it.
    A conductor of enormous talent and brilliance. What a loss for music.

  • Yes, also surprised and shocked. Yakov and I were conducting students together, briefly in the early 80’s, at the University of Michigan. I remember his amazing score-reading ability at the piano which had a real sense of wizardry, and was the envy of all. I also remember a blazing performance of Rachmaninov 2nd Symphony which he gave in London with one of the orchestras (either Philharmonia or LPO) in the early 90’s. And he was a genuinely warm-hearted guy, which is rare in someone so talented and ambitious.
    This is very sad news.

  • Yes, also surprised and shocked. Yakov and I were conducting students together, briefly in the early 80’s, at the University of Michigan. I remember his amazing score-reading ability at the piano which had a real sense of wizardry, and was the envy of all. I also remember a blazing performance of Rachmaninov 2nd Symphony which he gave in London with one of the orchestras (either Philharmonia or LPO) in the early 90’s. And he was a genuinely warm-hearted guy, which is rare in someone so talented and ambitious.
    This is very sad news.

  • Jaap van Heerden says:

    I am shocked to hear this news. Yakov Kreizberg impressed me as both a superb conductor, and as a warm, wonderful human being.
    I feel fortunate to have have heard at least a half dozen concerts with him conducting, many of which had Julia Fischer as the soloist. I fondly remember their Mozart cycle in Frankfurt last May.
    Yakov and Julia had a special chemistry. His passing is a great loss to all of us.
    My sincere condolences to his wife and family.

  • I cannot believe this news. But then again, I can’t believe all the tragedy that has occurred this past week in Japan. Yakov and I worked together in Germany, playing the Mendelssohn Concerto 3 times around Christmas time.
    He was bright, energetic and a young conductor very much on the rise. His heart seemed to move in rhythm with the music…..
    God bless and may he rest in peace.
    Anne Akiko Meyers

  • I cannot believe this news. But then again, I can’t believe all the tragedy that has occurred this past week in Japan. Yakov and I worked together in Germany, playing the Mendelssohn Concerto 3 times around Christmas time.
    He was bright, energetic and a young conductor very much on the rise. His heart seemed to move in rhythm with the music…..
    God bless and may he rest in peace.
    Anne Akiko Meyers

  • How sad, what a brave man to keep his illness so private. He came to conduct us in Montreal with OSM, and it was always such a treat to work with him. RIP maestro.

  • Jim Neglia says:

    It is with great sadness I am writing my sincere farewell to my dear friend … I have stories upon stories I can post …
    Amy, if you read this, please contact me! I can be reached at jimneglia@gmail.com or call me at 201.362.0054
    I loved him and will continue to do so til we see each other again.
    Peace and love to you,
    In full support,
    ~Jim Neglia
    Personnel Manager, NJ Symphony Orchestra
    Percussionist, NJ Symphony Orchestra

  • Jim Neglia says:

    It is with great sadness I am writing my sincere farewell to my dear friend … I have stories upon stories I can post …
    Amy, if you read this, please contact me! I can be reached at jimneglia@gmail.com or call me at 201.362.0054
    I loved him and will continue to do so til we see each other again.
    Peace and love to you,
    In full support,
    ~Jim Neglia
    Personnel Manager, NJ Symphony Orchestra
    Percussionist, NJ Symphony Orchestra

  • Lisa Stephens says:

    I knew him as the father of my son’s friend. He was warm and sweet and a great father. Such sad news. My best wishes to Amy and the boys.

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