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Sir Edward Downes (Conductor)

Born: 17th June 1924, Birmingham

Died: 10th July 2009, Zürich, Switzerland

Nationality: British

Sir Edward Thomas ("Ted") Downes, CBE was an English conductor, specialising in opera.

He was associated with the Royal Opera House from 1952, and with Opera Australia from 1970. He was also well known for his long working relationship with the BBC Philharmonic and for working with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra. Within the field of opera, he was particularly known as a conductor of Verdi.

He and his wife, Lady (Joan) Downes, committed assisted suicide at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland on 10 July 2009, an event that received significant media coverage.

Further Reading: Sir Edward Downes

 Obituary, Sir Edward Downes

The British conductor and his wife Joan ended their lives together at an assisted suicide clinic in Zurich at the weekend; Chris pays tribute to ‘a thoroughly nice man’ who was particularly renowned in Verdi and Russian repertoire.

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