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Symphony conductor Donald Johanos dies

June 7, 2007 at 4:22 PM

NAPLES, Fla., June 7 (UPI) -- Donald Johanos, a former music director of the Dallas and Honolulu symphonies, has died at the age of 79 in his Naples, Fla., home after a long illness.

Johanos, known for his melodic lines, led the Dallas Symphony for most of the 1960s, The New York Times reported. After being an associate conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony during the '70s, he became music director in Honolulu from 1979 until his 1995 retirement.

Johanos was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and studied the violin. While in high school, he played with the Cedar Rapids Symphony and spent two summers at the Interlochen (Mich.) Center for the Arts, working his way up to concertmaster, the Times said. He attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, earning degrees in violin and music theory and a certificate in conducting.

He started his career with orchestras in Altoona, Pa., and Johnstown, Pa. He won an international conducting competition and became associate conductor of the Dallas Symphony, later succeeding Georg Solti as music director, the newspaper said.

Johanos is survived by his third wife and children from previous marriages.

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Topics: Georg Solti
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