French conductor Jean-Marc Cochereau died Jan. 10 after suffering a heart attack during a rehearsal with the Orléans Symphony Orchestra. Cochereau, age 61, had been music director of the Orléans Symphony in Northern France since 1987. He was reportedly working on Beethoven’s "Eroica" Symphony and collapsed during the Funeral March section.
"I think, honestly, that it was the death he would have wanted," Catherine Mounier, the orchestra's administrator, told MusicalAmerica.com. The rehearsal was for concerts this weekend, part of a complete Beethoven symphony cycle. The concert went on as scheduled with local conductors filling in.
The son of the Notre Dame organist Pierre Cochereau Cochereau, he graduated from the Paris Conservatory with the first prize in conducting. A noted pedagogue, Cochereau was devoted to French music and conducted the first stereo recording of Arthur Honegger's "Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher" in 2002, for which he was awarded a Grande Prix du disque.