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David Zinman


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David Zinman (born New York City, U.S., 9 July 1936) is an American conductor and violinist.

After early violin studies at the Oberlin Conservatory, Zinman studied theory and composition at the University of Minnesota and took up conducting at Tanglewood. He then worked in Maine with Monteux from 1958 to 1962, serving as his assistant from 1961 to 1964.

Zinman held the post of tweede dirigent (second conductor) of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra from 1965 to 1977. He was the principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra from 1979 to 1982.

In the USA, Zinman was music director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1974 to 1985. With the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, he served two years as principal guest conductor, and became the orchestra’s music director in 1985. During his Baltimore tenure, Zinman began to incorporate the ideas of the historically informed performance movement into performances of the Beethoven symphonies. Upon the conclusion of his tenure as music director in 1998, he was named the orchestra’s conductor laureate. However, in protest at what he saw the Baltimore orchestra’s overly conservative programming in the years since his departure, Zinman resigned the title of conductor laureate in 2001. In 1998, Zinman was appointed music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School where he founded and directed its American Academy of Conducting until his sudden resignation in April 2010.

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