In memoriam Jesús López-Cobos

Jesús López-Cobos
Photo By Javier del Real

CSO Music Director Emeritus Jesús López-Cobos passed away this morning in Berlin at age 78. The CSO released this statement today:

His extraordinary tenure as Music Director here in Cincinnati from 1986 to 2001 had a lasting impact and he forged so many wonderful friendships. We grieve with his family and honor and celebrate his tremendous legacy.

There will be a moment of silence before each of this weekend’s concerts and we will dedicate the performances on March 23 and 24 in Jesús López-Cobos’ memory.

Please keep his family, many friends and former colleagues in your thoughts and prayers in this time of loss.

Here is his obituary, with some local information, on Maestro López-Cobos had the second longest tenure (15 years) of any CSO music director in its history, surpassed only by that of Eugene Goossens. He was the orchestra’s 11th music director, succeeding Michael Gielen.

He led the CSO on European and Far East tours, and conducted the orchestra’s first nationally televised concerts in the United States and Japan. He conducted the CSO 14 times at Carnegie Hall and made 26 recordings, more than any other music director at the time.

Gramophone has a nice tribute to his many fine Telarc recordings with the CSO and other orchestras.

Do you have memories of the maestro that you’d like to share? Please post them here, or send me an e-mail to and I will post them for you.



2 thoughts on “In memoriam Jesús López-Cobos

  1. How sad. He was just a wonderful man to work under, and was very kind and supportive of me, as well as all conductors on his staff.
    His Mozart was just elegant.
    Requiescat in pace, Jesus.


  2. Maestro Lopez-Cobos guest-conducted once in STL, back in 2000. He was quite charming in his chat to the audience before the SLSO performed Dvorak’s “Nature, Love and Life” concert overtures as one set of music, as kind of a unified single entity or “suite”. Not sure why he only did the one appearance here, but it was a very fine concert. Condolences to his family.


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