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Austrian conductor and violinist Walter Weller was born in Vienna on 30 November 1939. His father, known by the same name, was a violinist in the Vienna Philharmonic, and Walter (son) joined the orchestra aged seventeen. By the age of twenty-two he was joint concertmaster with Willi Boskovsky.
He began working as a conductor in 1966, taking over at short notice for Karl Böhm and Josef Krips. By 1969 he was conducting regularly at the Volksoper and at Vienna State Opera. He then conducted in Duisburg, Germany, and then moved to the UK as principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (1977-1980), then the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (1980-86) and the Scottish National Orchestra (1992-97).
He was the last chief conductor of the Basel Symphony Orchestra (now the Sinfonieorchester Basel, having merged with Radio Symphony Orchestra Basel) and, from 1987 until 2002, principal guest conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra. From 2007 until 2012 he was music director of the National Orchestra of Belgium (and thereafter honorary conductor), and from 2010 he was honorary conductor of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. He was also conductor laureate of the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra and associate director of the Valencia Orchestra.
Walter Weller died in Vienna on 14 June 2015, aged seventy-five.