Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky dies at 87

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Rozhdestvensky conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras

Prominent Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky has died aged 87.

Born in Moscow into a well-known musical family, Rozhdestvensky made his debut by conducting a Tchaikovsky ballet at the Bolshoi, aged just 20.

He made his name by popularising music by composers who were all but banned by the Communist authorities in the USSR, including Poulenc and Hindemith.

The cause of death was not immediately known, but local media reports say he had heart problems.

In 1971, Rozhdestvensky brought his Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra to London to the BBC Proms.

He conducted the Soviet premier in 1974 of the hitherto banned opera The Nose by Shostakovich.

Also a pianist and composer, Rozhdestvensky was in charge of many of the world’s leading orchestras during a long and illustrious career.

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