Famed Austrian cellist Heinrich Schiff dead at age 65

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VIENNA (AP) — Austrian cellist Heinrich Schiff, who performed with some of the world's major orchestras before health problems led him to turn to conducting, has died. He was 65.

Ludwig Mueller of The Vienna Chamber Orchestra told the Austria Press Agency on Friday that Schiff died overnight in a Vienna hospital. He did not give a cause of death.

Most known for his mastery of the cello, Schiff turned increasingly to conducting after health problems ended his solo career. Playing famed instruments from Stradivarius and Monegnana, his recordings of works by Bach, Shostakovich and Brahms earned him several prestigious music prizes.

His repertoire ranged from Vivaldi to contemporary masters such as Witold Lutoslawski and Friedrich Cerha. He conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris and other leading ensembles.

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