British conductor Sir Jeffrey suddenly died from a stroke today at the Carrara Academy in Bergamo. He was 74 years old.

Born in Salisbury in 1943, Tate suffered from spina bifida, but the curvature of the spine and a paralysed left leg would not prevent him from studying conducting, though he initially read medicine at Christ’s College, Cambridge. He gave up his medical career to study music at the London Opera Centre. He became a repetiteur and vocal coach at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, under the guidance of Sir Georg Solti.

Tate’s international conducting début was with the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1979. In 1985, he was appointed principal conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra. He was named to the position of principal conductor of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, effective in September 1986. He was principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra from 1991 to 1995. In 2005, he was appointed music director of the San Carlo Theatre of Naples, and served in the post through 2010.

In 2009 he was appointed chief conductor of the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra. He also was Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for the 2016/17 seasons.

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