Tate, Jeffrey, talented English conductor; b. Salisbury, April 28, 1943. Although a victim of spina bifida, he pursued studies at the Univ. of Cambridge and at St. Thomas’s Medical School; then attended the London Opera Centre (1970-71). He was a member of the music staff at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, London (1971-77). He also served as an asst. conductor at the Bayreuth Festivals (1976-80). In 1978 he made his formal conducting debut with Carmen at the Göteborg Opera. On Dec. 26, 1980, he made his first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. conducting Berg’s Lulu; his debut at Covent Garden followed with La clemenza di Tito on June 8, 1982. He appeared as a guest conductor at the Cologne Opera (1981), the Geneva Opera (1983), the Paris Opéra (1983), the Hamburg State Opera (1984), the San Francisco Opera (1984), the Salzburg Festival (1985), and the Vienna State Opera (1986). In 1983 he made his first appearance with the English Chamber Orch., being named its principal conductor in 1985; led it on tours abroad, including one to the U.S. in 1988. In 1986 he also became principal conductor at Covent Garden. In 1990 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He was chief conductor of the Rotterdam Phil. from 1991 to 1994. In 1997 he became principal conductor of the Minn. Orch. Viennese Sommer fest. In 1998 he conducted the first complete King cycle in German in Australia at the State Opera of South Australia in Adelaide, which brought him great acclaim. His extensive operatic and concert repertoire encompasses works from the Classical to the contemporary era.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire