Conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos died on June 10th at his home in Pamplona, Spain. He was 80 years old. (At the bottom of this post are several interviews with the late maestro.) Just last week he announced that he would retire from all conducting activities due to his battle with cancer. Recent positions include chief conductor and artistic director of the Dresden Philharmonic from 2004 to 2011, and chief conductor of the Danish National Orchestra for the last two seasons.
Born in Burgos, Spain, Fruhbeck studied violin, piano, music theory, composition, and conducting. Among other honors, in 2011, he was named Conductor of the Year by Musical America and in 1997 was awarded Spain’s prestigious musical award, the Jacinto Guerrero Prize, by the Queen of Spain.
He was a frequent guest with North American orchestras, including the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, and the Boston, New World, and National symphonies. He’s also led tours with the Philadelphians, the Vienna Symphony, the Spanish National Orchestra and the Dresden Philharmonic, as well as many other ensembles.
This season he made his 150th appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra as part of a two-week residency. He led the orchestra in two programs, one with music by Beethoven, Liszt and Respighi, and one featuring music by Lalo, Debussy and Ravel.
WRTI's Susan Lewis spoke with the maestro about both programs, as well as his thoughts on the Philadelphia Orchestra.