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Longtime NYC Opera conductor Julius Rudel dies at 93 of natural causes

FILE - This Sept. 16, 2007 file photo shows Julius Rudel, conductor and former director of New York City Opera speaking during a gala tribute to soprano Beverly Sills at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Rudel died of natural causes on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York. He was 93. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin, File)

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FILE - This Sept. 16, 2007 file photo shows Julius Rudel, conductor and former director of New York City Opera speaking during a gala tribute to soprano Beverly Sills at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Rudel died of natural causes on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York. He was 93. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin, File)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Julius Rudel, who was the general director and principal conductor of the New York City Opera for 22 years until 1979 and led other operas around the world, died Thursday morning, his representative said. He was 93.

Lisa Jaehnig said Rudel died of natural causes in his New York City home.

Rudel was born in Austria, but moved to America as a teenager. He led more than 150 operas in the world's major opera houses, including the Vienna Staatsoper, Paris Opera, Metropolitan Opera and Los Angeles Opera.

He joined the New York City Opera in 1944. The City Opera filed for bankruptcy and shut down late last year.

Jaehling said services would be private, but there "will be a celebration of his life and music later in the year."

The University of Rochester Press published Rudel's memoir, "First and Lasting Impressions: Julius Rudel Looks Back on a Life in Music," last year.

He is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

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