Bernard Haitink was one of the world’s most prominent conductors. He led the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam for many years and was highly successful internationally, especially with his Mahler concerts. Haitink began as a violinist and studied at the Amsterdam conservatory, where he was also educated as a conductor. He started his career with the Netherlands Radio Union and was consequently made chief conductor of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1961, he moved to the Concertgebouw Orchestra, where he was to remain until 1988 and which would become an internationally renowned company during his leadership. After a period in London with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and positions of chief conductor in Dresden and Chicago, Haitink frequently performed with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as honorary conductor.