- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) - Miami City Ballet’s first ballet conductor has died. Ottavio de Rosa was 91.

His daughter-in-law says de Rosa died Wednesday at a hospice after a long illness. He lived in Dunedin.

De Rosa conducted the orchestra at the New York City Ballet for choreographer George Balanchine. When former NYCB star Edward Villella founded Miami’s ballet in 1986, de Rosa was his first choice for music director. De Rosa also held similar positions at the Pittsburgh and Boston ballets.

De Rosa remained at Miami’s ballet until he retired in 2000. Praising de Rosa’s musicianship and sensitivity to the dancers on stage, Villella said Monday that de Rosa was “the delight of the whole company.”

Ballet executive Pamela Gardiner says de Rosa helped build the young company into a respected cultural institution.

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