The world-renowned Czech conductor Zdenek Macal died on Wednesday at the age of 87, the Czech News Agency reports. During his long career, he conducted more than 170 major orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Royal Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras. He served as artistic advisor of the San Antonio Symphony and principal conductor of Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival.

Macal was appointed chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for a three-year contract, beginning with the 1986 season. Shortly after taking up his appointment in March 1986, he asked to be released from his contract from the end of the first year, and this was agreed to.

Macal became music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 1986.

Macal left Milwaukee to become Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) in September 1993.

In 2003, Macal was appointed chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic. His contract with the orchestra was through 2008, but he suddenly resigned in September 2007

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