Bernard Haitink first conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1956. He was the orchestra's chief conductor from 1961-88, and named honorary conductor in 1999 in recognition of his many artistic achievements.
Upon ending his tenure in Amsterdam, Bernard Haitink was Music Director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden for over fourteen years. He has also been Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the European Union Youth Orchestra, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Bernard Haitink has close relationships with many other of the world’s great orchestras. He is Conductor Emeritus of the Boston Symphony, and an honorary member of both the Berlin Philharmonic and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Bernard Haitink has received many awards and distinctions. He was appointed Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau (1969), Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion (1980), Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau (1988) and Commander in Order of the Netherlands Lion (2017).
Haitink received the Erasmus Prize (1991) and the Concertgebouw Prize (2007). In 2002, Queen Elizabeth named him Honorary Companion of Honour.
From 1977 to 1987, Haitink received international acclaim for his interpretations of Mahler in the Eurovision Christmas Matinees. In 2009, Bernard Haitink conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in a Christmas Matinee concert for the first time since 1987. In 2017, Haitink conducted the orchestra in a programme with works by Debussy and Bruckner's Symphony No. 7.