Spanish conductor Jesús López Cobos was born at Toro in the provinvce of Zamora on 25 February 1940. He studied at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, then later studied conducting with Franco Ferrara and at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien in Austria with Hans Swarowsky.
Early appointments included General Music Director of Deutsche Oper Berlin (1981-1990) and Music Director of Orquesta Nacional de España (1984-88). From 1986 until 2001 he was Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, serving longer in that position than any of the orchestra's other music directors, and making many recordings with them, including some highly regarded discs with Telarc.
Later, López Cobos was Principal Conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne (1990-2000) and Music Director of Madrid's Teatro Real (2003-10). Since 2006, the López-Cobos International Opera Conductors Competition has been held at the Teatro Real.
Jesús López Cobos died in Berlin, Germany on 2 March 2018, aged seventy-eight.