The Straits Times
Published on Feb 24, 2013

Celebrated German conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch dies at 89


FRANKFURT (AFP) - Mr Wolfgang Sawallisch, one of Germany's greatest conductors, has died at the age of 89, the Bavarian State Opera, where he was general music director and manager for 20 years, announced on Sunday.

Mr Sawallisch died late on Friday at his home in Grassau, upper Bavaria, the opera said in a statement.

"The Bavarian State Opera is deeply saddened by the death of Wolfgang Sawallisch," said the opera's current chief Nikolaus Bachler. "For decades, he left his stamp on our house with his great personality and his inimitable art. His name, like no other, is connected with the Munich opera and even today his influence can still be felt."

A gala performance scheduled for Monday of Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem by the Bavarian State Opera orchestra and conducted by Indian-born maestro Zubin Mehta would be dedicated to Mr Sawallisch's memory, he added. The performance had been scheduled to mark the bicentenary of Verdi's birth, which the musical world is celebrating this year.