- Category : Entertain-Music-Conductor
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 2/5 - Hermit / Heretic
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Consciousness 1
Dutch conductor of international allure.
He was the son of the jurist Willem Herman Leonard Haitink (11 Dec 1885, Delfshaven - 1957) and Anna Clara Verschaffelt (4 January 1898, Haarlem - 8 December 1984, Bosch en Duin), who married 2 May 1922 in Amsterdam.
At young age he played the violin, studying under Charles van de Rosière, a player of the Amsterdam Concertgebouworkest. He studied violin and orchestral conducting with Felix Hupka and Ferdinand Leitner at the Amsterdam Conservatorium.
He debuted as a conductor on 19 July 1954 with the Netherlands Radio Union Orchestra, now Radio Philharmonisch Orkest. After the sudden death of Paul van Kempen (8 December 1955), the main conductor of the orchestra , Haitink took over the scheduled program. On 1 January 1957, he became chef conductor of the Radio orchestra.
On 7 November 1956 Haitink debuted as a guest conductor of the Concertgebouworkest. After the death of Eduard van Beinum (13 April 1959), Eugen Jochum (1961-1964) and Haitink (1961-1988) became principal conductors of the Concertgebouworkest. During those years he made the Concertgebouworkest famous with splendid recorded interpretations of Mahler, Bruckner, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Liszt.
Haitink was also the principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1967-1979, the musical director at Glyndebourne Opera (1978-1988), music director of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (1987-2002) and chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden (2002-4). He was quest conductor in Boston, Chicago, Zurich and Paris.
Haitink got many international awards. On 22 June 1988 he got a honorary doctorate in music from Oxford. In 2003 and 2008 he won Grammy awards. Since 1999 he was honorary conductor of the Concertgebouworkest, but in 2014 he announced that he would not conduct the Concertgebouw again. He felt humiliated and ignored by the directory board during the 125th birthday of the Concertgebouworkest (1888) in 2013. Twenty fife years before, when he left the then 100 years old Royal Concertgebouworkest, there were also preceding conflicts with the management (never the musicians), and after his last concert on 17 April 1988, Haitink symbolically broke his stick.
Haitink married four times with female musicians. In 1956 he married the pianist Marjolein Snijder, he met at the Amsterdam conservatory. Between October 1957 and early 1970 they got five children. His busy agenda played a role in their divorce. Thereafter he married respectively the cellist Saskia Boon and the violist Kirsti Goedhart, both members of the Concertgebouworkest. He now lives in Lucerne with his fourth wife Patricia Bloomfield, who was a viola player at the Royal Opera before leaving to become a barrister.