Spanish conductor and composer Rafael Fruhbeck De Burgos is retiring following a cancer diagnosis. The 80-year-old maestro announced his intention to step down as chief conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday (04Jun14), as he went public with his health crisis.
He has also withdrawn from a string of upcoming summer (14) concerts, including engagements as a guest conductor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts.
A statement released by Fruhbeck de Burgos reads: "After meeting with my doctors I have come to the following conclusion: I have to recognise publicly that I have cancer and that in this state of health and with deep sorrow I am not able to conduct at my standards and the moment to quit professional matters has come."
Fruhbeck de Burgos is known for his work with city orchestras across the globe, including Germany's Deutsche Oper Berlin, Montreal Symphony Orchestra in Canada, Bilbao Orchestra in Spain, the Vienna Symphony in Austria and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo, Japan.
He is widely acclaimed for performances of Mozart's Requiem and Georges Bizet's Carmen, among others.
Celebrated Italian conductor Claudio Abbado has died, aged 80. The double Grammy Award winner passed away in Bologna, Italy on Monday (20Jan14) after several months of ill health.
During his illustrious career, he held many of the music world's most coveted positions, including music director of the La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy and principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
He also worked with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, acted as music director of Austria's Vienna State Opera, and was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra in Germany from 1989 to 2002.
Abbado won two Grammy Awards for his recorded works, picking up trophies in 1997 and 2005.