Shock: Dublin concert is cancelled after US conductor is found dead

Shock: Dublin concert is cancelled after US conductor is found dead


norman lebrecht

October 01, 2017

The RTE put out this statement late last night:

It is with the deepest regret that we announce that conductor David Heusel has passed away in Dublin. David was to conduct the RTÉ Concert Orchestra this evening in Dublin. The concert has been cancelled as a mark of respect. RIP.

David T. Heusel was an American conductor who made his career mostly abroad.  From 1995-1997 he was music director of the Opéra Comique in Paris. Since then he has worked across Europe and at Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. He conducted recently in Metz and was a regular in Dublin.

He had been about to conduct the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in the Opera Pops show at the National Concert Hall when he was found lifeless. This portrait was taken a few hours beforehand.

David turned 60 last December.

He studied at Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, obtaining a BA degree before plunging straight into work as a vocal coact at Richmond’s Whitewater Opera Company. He left for Europe in 1981 and never looked back.

Our sympathies to his loved ones.



  • John Ed Niles says:

    This very sad. I met him once and really liked him. He was good conductor and very solid and disiplined artist. He will be missed.
    John Ed Niles

  • Beth Brittain Carter says:

    David was a wonderful friend and colleague…always enthusiastic and encouraging as we tackled opera after opera together in Dortmund way back when. He loved what he did with an absolute passion and wrote often of his joy in every project: he loved his singers, his orchestras, and his life in Germany and his partner of so many years. This is a tragedy for all of us who knew him.

  • Mark says:

    Why must you say “Shock” like a tabloid UFO headline? Isn’t “Dublin Concert Cancelled After US Conductor Is Found Dead” a dramatic enough headline?

    • Christopher Culver says:

      You must be new here. Slipped Disc is a tabloid. Its proprietor’s particular niche for decades now has been reporting on classical music news, events and personalities through the tabloid approach, unlike other, more staid news sources.

      • Harold Lewis says:

        Mealy-mouthed. Why don’t you say openly what you mean? Your phrase “non-Christian” calls to mind the name ‘Christian Alliance’ adopted by an antisemitic political movement in a Brazilian state where I lived for a while and where the state Governor (Jaime Lerner) happened to be of Jewish descent.

    • timbits says:

      It evidently said “Tragedy” before he changed it to shock. Look at the article’s url.

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    Very sad news about David. I worked with him last year in Metz and liked him enormously. Wonderful man and musician. Does anyone know what it was? Heart attack?

  • Sylvester Beelaert says:

    Wrong once again, Norman. The photograph is a still from a filmed interview with David Heusel in 2013 about Rusalka.