German conductor Gerd Albrecht has died at the age of 78. The musician passed away in Berlin on Sunday (02Feb14) following a serious illness.
Albrecht served as the general music director of Germany's Hamburg State Opera from 1988 to 1997, during which he also worked as the principal conductor of the Czech Philharmonic in the Czech Republic.
His appointment as the Philharmonic's first foreign head attracted much criticism, with detractors insisting a Czech should take charge of the orchestra, and the lingering tensions prompted him to resign in 1996 after three years, blaming his exit on "political narrow-mindedness".
He went on to become the principal conductor of Japan's Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra for 10 years from 1997 and the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2004.
He also founded the Museum of Sound in Hamburg and set up a foundation to aid talented young musicians.