The modernist conductor Michael Gielen has laid down his baton on health grounds at the age of 87.
Gielen was principal conductor of the Belgian National_Orchestra, 1969–73, the Cincinnati Symphony 1980–86 and Southwest German Radio SO, 1986–99, as well as Intendant and GMD of Frankfurt Opera, 1976-86. He has been active lately in trying to block a merger of SWR’s two orchestras.
A nephew of the Schoenberg pianist Eduard Steuermann, Gielen grew up in Bueons Aires exile and gave the South American premiere of many of Arnold Schoenberg piano works. Among the world premieres he conducted are Ligeti‘s Requièm, Stockhausen‘s Carré and Bernd Alois Zimmermann‘s Die Soldaten. He was a prolific recording artist, notably in the Bruckner and Mahler symphonies.