The German-born conductor Franz-Paul Decker died in Montreal on May 19 at the age of 90. He was music director of the Montreal Symphony from 1967 to 1975 and returned often thereafter as a guest conductor. Just last season he had been scheduled to appear with the MSO – the main work was Richard Strauss’ massive An Alpine Symphony – but was forced to cancel due to ill health.
Decker held many conducting posts in Europe throughout his career and he also had a close association with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Decker was highly regarded for his performances of the German classics, especially the music of Brahms, Richard Strauss and Bruckner. But he had very wide musical interests. In our video from 1989 he conducts a movement from the Symphony No. 6 by Shostakovich.
Paul E. Robinson