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Jeffrey Tate Replaces Andrey Boreyko as Hamburg Symphony Chief Conductor

By Kevin Shihoten
05 Nov 2007

Jeffrey Tate
photo by Artist Management Zurich

Jeffrey Tate will become the new principal conductor of the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, replacing Andrey Boreyko, who quit unexpectedly for reasons unclear, reports Die Welt of Berlin.

The English-born Tate is likely to assume the position next spring. His management will probably confirm the appointment no earlier than January, according to

Boreyko, chief conductor of the Bern Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, had held his post with the Hamburg Symphony since 2004. Referring to "difficulties" in the extension of his last contract, Die Welt only verified the conductor's wish to leave Hamburg. Concerning any other specifics, reports, Hamburg Symphony officials will remain tight-lipped. His first performance with the conservative orchestra caused a stir when he incorporated rappers in Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.

The Russian conductor first came to international attention in the late 1980s when he took awards at the Grzegorz Fitelberg and Kirill Kondrashin conductors' competitions. He later recorded Arvo Pärt's Lamentate and Valentin Silvestrov’s Symphony No. 6 with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra under the ECM label. While music director of the Winnipeg Symphony (2001-2006), he continued that orchestra's highly-regarded midwinter new music festival.

He has guest-conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin's Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Boreyko makes his New York Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestra debuts this season; among his other upcoming engagements are appearances with the Dresden Staatskapelle, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Wiener Symphoniker.

The 64-year-old Tate, who made his conducting début at Gothenburg with Carmen, studied medicine at Cambridge University before taking the répétiteur’s course at the London Opera Centre from 1970–71. He later joined the Covent Garden music staff and in 1976, became Pierre Boulez's assistant for Bayreuth's Ring. His Metropolitan Opera debut came in 1980 with Lulu. In 1985 and 1986, he became principal conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Opera Covent Garden.

Born with a severe spinal malformation, Tate has had a flourishing career despite his handicap. He has led the London Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Nazionale della RAI Torino, Dresden Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Danish Radio Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and others.

Tate was made Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth in 1990, and has served as president of the England's Spina Bifida charity since 1989. His future projects include Parsifal at Teatro San Carlo in Naples in December and Billy Budd at the Opéra-Bastille in Paris.





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