You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Gerd Albrecht, 78, German conductor

Gerd Albrecht led the Czech Philharmonic in Prague.

T. TUREK/ASSOCIATED PRESS/1996

Gerd Albrecht led the Czech Philharmonic in Prague.

BERLIN — German conductor Gerd Albrecht — who led orchestras in the Czech Republic, Japan, and Denmark and worked to bring music to children, has died — his office said Monday. He was 78.

Mr. Albrecht died in Berlin Sunday evening following a serious illness, according to a statement from his office.

Continue reading below

Mr. Albrecht was an advocate of contemporary music, such as the works of Krzysztof Penderecki and Gyorgy Ligeti.

He served as general music director at the Hamburg State Opera from 1988 to 1997, during which he also served a less than harmonious stint as the first foreign principal conductor of the Czech Philharmonic.

Mr. Albrecht led the Czech orchestra from 1993 until he resigned in 1996, blaming ‘‘political narrow-mindedness’’ following a dispute that underscored lingering tensions in Czech-German relations. He was appointed to help the orchestra achieve international acclaim but many Czechs bristled at the idea of a foreigner, especially a German, heading a symbol of national pride. Mr. Albrecht in turn complained to German media about his working conditions and accused Czech leaders of not showing enough support for his work.

Mr. Albrecht served as principal conductor of the Tokyo-based Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to 2007 and led the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2004.

Mr. Albrecht, who was born in Essen on July 19, 1935, also wrote books for children and set up a foundation to help talented young musicians.

He opened a Museum of Sound in Hamburg and launched a mobile music bus that traveled to schools.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.