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One of the leading conductors of recent decades. He has been associated with many orchestras, but especially with the Philharmonia in London, where he was principal conductor between 1984 and 1987, and music director from 1987 to 1994; and with the Staatskapelle in Dresden since August 1992. He also conducted in Rome from 1983 to 1987 and has been a conductor laureate in Florence since 1998.

Born on 2 November 1946 in Venice, he trained in both music and medicine, and was a fully qualified doctor. He was also a composer, his opera Lou Salomé having been premiered in Munich in 1981. He turned to conducting in the late 1970s, and was well known both with grand opera and with the Second Viennese School. He died of a heart attack last night, 20 April 2001, during the third act of Aida at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, aged 54.

His first Aida was in Venice in 1976, and his first appearance with the Deutsche Oper was with Macbeth in 1980. Other important débuts were

Sinopoli studied medicine at the University of Padua, producing works on criminal anthropology and on the physiology of acoustic phenomena. He studied music at the Venice Conservatory, then in 1968 took summer courses in Darmstadt, studying under Bruno Maderna and Karlheinz Stockhausen; then became a pupil and assistant to Franco Donatoni in Siena: then in 1972 under Hans Swarovsky in Vienna. He founded the Ensemble Bruno Maderna in 1985.

One of his last recordings was of the Dvorak Stabat Mater, with the Staatskapelle, released in March on DG.

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