Obituary: Conductor Maksimilijan Cenčić dies, aged 68

By Logan Martell

The Vienna State Opera has announced the death of conductor Maksimilijan Cenčić, following a prolonged illness, at age 68.

Born in 1951 in Rogaška Slatina, Slovenia, Cenčić studied in his early years with figures such as Kurt Masur, Igor Markewich, Carlo Sezzhi, and Piere Dervaux, among others.

After graduating from the Akademie fur Music in Zagreb, Coatia, in 1976, he was the assistant to Waclav Neumann at the Czech Philharmonic of Prague, and that same year made his debut with the Croatian National Opera of Zagreb for Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.”

Cenčić remained with the company from 1978-1991, going on to serve as conductor at the Wiener Staatsoper until 2014.

His repertoire included symphonic works, operas, operettas, and more. In addition to his conducting, Cenčić also served as a piano accompanist, and music arranger. Cenčić is survived by his son, countertenor Max Emanuel Cenčić, and daughter, jazz singer Lana Cenčić.