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Opera Conductor Keene Dies At 48

Christopher Keene, general director of the New York City Opera since 1989, died Sunday at 48.

He died at New York Hospital of complications from lymphoma arising from AIDS, opera spokeswoman Susan Woelzl said. Keene disclosed in August that he had been HIV-positive for a decade or more.

Keene, a champion of contemporary operas, conducted “Mathis der Maler” for opening night at the New York City Opera just a month ago.

He made his New York City Opera conducting debut in 1970 and went on to conduct more than 300 performances of 50-plus operas.