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A longtime former New York City Opera conductor, Julius Rudel, passed away at the age of 93 at his Manhattan home from natural causes on Thursday.
The Austrian was both the principal conductor and director of the City Opera between 1957 to 1979, working his hardest to keep it going despite continually miniscule operating budgets, The New York Times reports.
The City Opera closed late last year due to bankruptcy and Rudel noted, "I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would outlive the company."
During his tenure with the Opera, Rudel worked with many young singers, including Beverly Sills, Sherrill Milnes, Placido Domingo and others.
Rudel was born in Austria, but he and his family fled the country to the United States in 1938 while he was a teenager ahead of Adolf Hitler's advance into the country.
Lisa Jaehling confirmed Rudel's passing with The Associated Press and said it was due to natural causes. She noted that there "will be a celebration of his life and music later in the year," but funeral services will be restricted.
Rudel, who would act as conductor at several different opera houses during his lifetime, such as the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper and Paris Opera, leaves behind three children and seven grandchildren and great-grandchildren.