TOKYO , Feb. 4 -- ( Kyodo ) _ Gerd Albrecht , a German conductor who led the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra as principal conductor from 1998 to 2007, died Sunday in Berlin from an illness, the Japanese orchestra said. He was 78. During the period in Japan , he was noted for the performances of operas by Richard Wagner and works by young Japanese composers. He was given the title of conductor laureate of the Japanese orchestra after completing his tenure. He won the international competition for young conductors in Besancon, France , in 1957 and served as music director of Germany's Hamburg State Opera and chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic before taking up his position with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony.
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