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German Conductor Sawallisch Dies

World renowned conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch has died at the age of 89.

The Bavarian State Opera, where he was general music director and manager for 20 years, issued a statement Sunday that said he died Friday.

The opera's current head Nikolaus Bachler said "his influence continues to be felt until this day and will continue to do so."

Born in the Bavarian capital Munich, Sawallisch began his music career after World War Two.

As a conductor, he appeared in major concert halls and opera houses around the world. He also led some the world's most prestigious orchestras, including the Vienna Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Sawallisch was also an accomplished pianist.

He has been noted especially for his interpretation of the works of Richard Strauss.

In 2003, Sawallisch helped to establish a music school in Grassau, in southern Germany, where he died at his home.

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