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Former Symphony Director Jesús López-Cobos Dies

López-Cobos conducts the Teatro Real.
López-Cobos conducts the Teatro Real.

Former Cincinnati Symphony Music Director Jesús López-Cobos has died. He was 78.

The CSO reports Lopez-Cobos died in Berlin. He was with the Symphony from 1986 to 2001. 

The Symphony will offer a moment of silence before each of this weekend's concerts and will dedicate performances March 23 and 24 in López-Cobos' memory.

The Spanish conductor, who led the CSO to several top recordings on the Telarc label, also served as general music director of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, music director at the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and music director at Madrid's Teatro Real.

The online forum Gramophone writes in his obituary:

Among his most highly regarded recordings for Telarc with the Cincinnati SO were a Respighi disc, including Church Windows, Brazilian Impressions and Roman Festivals, of which Gramophone's Michael Oliver commented: 'if every colour is precisely rendered, the quiet passages as affectionately turned as they are here (and it's surprising how much of this score is quiet), what skill there is to be found in it, what a gift for immaculately precise instrumental detail.'

In fact, it was often López Cobos's superb ear for instrumental balance, colour and detail that separated his recordings and performances from those of other conductors. His recording of Shostakovich's First and 15th Symphonies, also with the Cincinnati SO, drew high praise from Gramophone's David Fanning: 'By dint of careful preparation López Cobos brings exceptional clarity to the First Symphony‚ forcing you to admire afresh the sheer inventiveness of the teenage Shostakovich’s counterpoint.'


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