German conductor Gerd Albrecht dead at 78
In this Jan. 4, 1996 file picture then chief conductor of Czech Philharmony Orchestra Gerd Albrecht performs during the concert held in Prague. (AP Photo//CTK,Tomas Turek,file)
Published Monday, February 3, 2014 10:21AM EST
BERLIN -- German conductor Gerd Albrecht, who led orchestras in the Czech Republic, Japan and Denmark and worked to bring music to children, has died. He was 78.
Albrecht's office said in a statement he died in Berlin Sunday following a serious illness. It didn't elaborate.
Albrecht led the Czech Philharmonic from 1993 until he resigned in 1996, blaming "political narrow-mindedness" following a dispute that underscored lingering tensions in Czech-German relations.
He was principal conductor of the Tokyo-based Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to 2007 and led the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2004.
Albrecht also wrote books for children and set up a foundation to help talented young musicians. He opened a Museum of Sound in Hamburg and launched a mobile music bus that travelled to schools.