The venerable conductor has told the Volkskrant newspaper that he will conduct in Amsterdam for the last time this Saturday and for the last time ever in Lucerne in September.
At the start of the year Haitink, 90, said he was taking a sabbatical. Now, he says, it is his finale.
“Listen,” says Haitink in his London home. “I’m 90. And when I say I’m taking a sabbatical, it’s because I don’t want to say, I’m stopping. I don’t feel like all those official goodbyes, but the fact is that I will no longer conduct. “
The interview will be published in full on Friday.
Haitink first raised a baton with the Netherlands radio orchestra in 1954. He became chief conductor of the Concertgebouw in 1961, of the London Philharmonic in 1967, of Glyndebourne in 1978 and of Covent Garden in 1987.
Other chief conductor posts include the Dresden Staatskapelle (2002-4) and Chicago Symphony (2006-7).
For 65 years he has been the hardest-working and most reliable member of his vocation, unfailingly well-prepared, frequently inspirational. He will be universally missed.
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UPDATE: The Haitink highlights reel