The 74-year-old Swiss maestro was leading a performance of Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges at Theater Basel on September 15 when he suffered a fainting spell, according to SDA-ATS News Service. He was quickly taken to the hospital by ambulance; after a pause of about 15 minutes, he was replaced by German conductor Lutz Rademacher.
Radio Suisse Romande and the news agency Swissinfo reported Jordan's passing this morning; no cause of death was given.
Jordan has been active for decades as a symphonic and opera conductor in Europe and North America and he has a sizeable discography to his credit. Born in Lucerne in 1932, he studied music in Lausanne and Geneva and began his career at the opera house serving the small Swiss cities of Biel and Solothurn. He joined the Zurich Opera House in 1963, going on to be music director of the opera in St. Gallen from 1968 to 1971.
It was in the 1970s that leading conductors began to take on the sort of peripatetic career paths for which they are known today, but Jordan rose to prominence while working mainly within Switzerland. He served as director of Theater Basel from 1971 to 1989 and artistic director of the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne, with which he made numerous recordings, from 1973 to 1985. And he is highly regarded for his tenure as music director of the Geneva-based Orchestre de la Suisse Romande from 1985 to 1997. He led that orchestra on tours of Europe, the US and Asia, considerably enhancing its reputation.
During the 1990s Jordan was particularly active in Europe as a guest conductor at the leading opera houses; additionally, he was principal guest conductor of the Ensemble orchestral de Paris from 1986 to 1993. In 2001 he contracted pneumonia while in New York to conduct Wagner's Ring cycle at the Metropolitan Opera, and since that time he has scaled down his commitments and traveling.
He is also the father of the fast-rising young conductor Philippe Jordan, who is currently principal guest conductor at the Berlin Staatsoper. The younger Jordan, who is conducting this week at the Vienna State Opera, has withdrawn from tomorrow night's performance there of La Bohme due to his father's death; replacing him will be Fabio Luisi.
Armin Jordan had been scheduled to conduct the Orchestre de Paris tonight and tomorrow at the Salle Pleyel in Paris and on September 23 in Besan‹on. At the request of composer Henri Dutilleux, whose cello concerto Tout un monde lointain is on the program, 43-year-old French conductor Fr_d_ric Chaslin will replace Jordan.
Rademacher will conduct the remaining performances of The Love for Three Oranges in Basel.