Bernard Haitink’s conducting career began 61 years ago with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in his native Holland. He went on to be Chief Conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra for 27 years, as well as Music Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera, The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He is Patron of the Radio Philharmonic, and Conductor Emeritus of the Boston Symphony, as well as an honorary member of both the Berlin Philharmonic and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
During the 2015 summer festival season Bernard Haitink performed at the Salzburg Festival with the Vienna Philharmonic, opened the Lucerne Festival with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, and gave further performances at the Lucerne Festival and The Proms with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. The 2015/16 season begins with the London Symphony Orchestra, with whom he performs three programmes at The Barbican followed by a tour to Japan. During autumn 2015 he conducts the Chamber Orchestra of Europe performing the Schumann symphonies and concertos in Amsterdam, Lugano and Vienna. Amongst the orchestras he revisits this season are the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras. He also makes his debut with the orchestra and chorus of La Scala, Milan.
He is committed to the development of young musical talent, and gives an annual Conducting Masterclass at the Lucerne Easter Festival. This season in addition he gives conducting classes to students of the Hochschule der Kunst, Zurich, and the Juilliard School.
Bernard Haitink has an extensive discography for Phillips, Decca and EMI, as well as the many new live recording labels established by orchestras themselves in recent years, such as the London Symphony, Chicago Symphony and Bayerischer Rundfunk. He has received many awards and honours in recognition of his services to music, including several honorary doctorates, an honorary Knighthood and Companion of Honour in the United Kingdom, and the House Order of Orange-Nassau in the Netherlands.