“The Vienna Philharmonic .. is mourning the passing of its honorary member, Georges Pretre,” the world-famous musical institution, which includes the Symphony Orchestra, said on its website.
Pretre died in Naves in southwest France where he lived in a chateau, the town's deputy mayor Brigitte Baux, who regularly organised events with the conductor, told AFP.
Born in northern France on August 24, 1924, he entered the Paris Conservatoire aged 15 but went on to enjoy most of his career outside his homeland.
He was notably the first “invited leader” from 1986-1991 of the Symphony Orchestra, the Austrian capital's second classical ensemble after the celebrated Philharmonic.
Pretre, who liked to say that he was himself Viennese, also twice conducted the prestigious New Year's concert by the Philharmonic, in 2008 and 2010.
During his career he also wielded the baton at some of the world's top orchestras, from Chicago to the Metropolitan Opera de New York, and the Scala in Milan to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.
He last conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in 2013 at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris in a repertoire including Ravel, Beethoven and Strauss.