Italian conductor and composer Giuseppe Sinopoli was born on 2 November 1946 in Venice, and studied there with Ernesto Rubin de Cervin at the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello. He also studied composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen and graduated in medicine from Padua.
He wrote serial music, became professor of contemporary and electronic music at the Marcello Conservatory in 1972 and became a major figure in the New Venice School of contemporary music, forming the Bruno Maderna Ensemble in 1975. He's best known as a composer for his 1981 opera Lou Salomé.
He studied conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the Vienna Academy of Music, and was principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London from 1984 until 1994, recording Mahler's complete symphonies and music by Elgar. As a conductor he specialised in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century music, and his intense psychological interpretations caused much controversy, being considered eccentric by some, whilst thoughtful and insightful by others. He was appointed principal conductor of Dresden State Opera in 1991, Staatskapelle Dresden in 1992 and also conducted at Bayreuth.
Giuseppe Sinopoli died from a heart attack, aged only fifty-four, whilst conducting Aida in Berlin, on 20 April 2001. His funeral in Rome was attended by the Italian President and Prime Minister, and many from La Scala.