Sir Colin Davis, president of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), died tonight at the age of 85.
In a statement, the LSO said: "Sir Colin first conducted the LSO in 1959 and became principal conductor in 1995.
"He was the longest-serving principal conductor in the LSO's history and has been at the head of the LSO family for many years.
"His musicianship and his humanity have been cherished by musicians and audiences alike."
Sir Colin was honorary conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle and also had links to the Royal Opera House, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra.
In addition, he had mentored young musicians at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School.
The LSO added: "Sir Colin's role in British musical life was immense" and added that "music lovers across the world have been inspired by his performances and recordings".
"He will be remembered with huge affection and admiration by the LSO and our thoughts are with his family at this time."