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American conductor, musical director and professor of music, Jonathan Sternberg, was born in New York on 27 July 1919. He studied at Juilliard, the Manhattan School of Music, New York University (including the Graduate School of Arts and Science) and Harvard.
At the end of World War II, after military service, Sternberg became conductor of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Travelling to Austria, he conducted the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (including in Alfred Brendel's first recording of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No 5) and later assisted H C Robbins Landon in searching for music manuscripts in Europe, making recordings of Haydn's Nelson Mass and Mozart's Posthorn Serenade.
He worked with the Halifax Symphony Orchestra in Canada for a year, spent five years directing the Royal Flemish Opera, and then became music director of Harkness Ballet in New York. He was also music director of Atlanta Opera and Ballet, and was professor of conducting at the Eastman School of Music and at Temple University.
Sternberg died from heart failure in Philadelphia on 8 May 2018, aged ninety-eight.