Conductor George Hurst dies aged 86

17 September 2012, 15:12

The Scottish conductor was an influential figure on the British orchestral scene, and taught a generation of conductors including Andrew Davis, John Eliot Gardiner, Simon Halsey, and Simon Rattle.

George Hurst died on Saturday aged 86. Over the course of his lengthy career, he worked with every major British and Irish orchestra, as well as ensembles across Europe.

Born in Edinburgh in 1926 to a Romanian father and Russian mother, Hurst began his career as a writer. His talent for composition was recognised while he was a student at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, Canada, and was appointed professor of composition at the Peabody Institute of Baltimore aged 21.

He made his London debut in 1953 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, where he served as assistant conductor. He also taught a masterclass at the Canford Summer School of Music for 63 years, passing on his techniques to the next generation of conductors - his expansive baton sweep being just one of his trademarks.