German conductor Gerd Albrecht was born in Essen on 19 July 1935. He won first prize aged twenty-two in the Besançon Young Conductors' Competition and began his career as repetiteur at Stuttgart State Opera, working later at Mainz Municipal Theatre as senior kapellmeister, then as General music director in Lübeck, and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Hamburg State Opera.
His tenure as principal conductor of the Czech Philharmonic was cut short over a controversy about the orchestra playing at a Roman Catholic / Jewish reconciliation concert, at which Albrecht hadn't been invited to conduct.
He caused further controversy in a later job, as principal conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, where he spoke from the podium during a concert, protesting the USA's invasion of Iraq - a statement which he was later forced to apologise for.
He also worked in Japan, as principal conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.
Albrecht died on 2 February 2014, aged seventy-eight.