Tokyo - Israeli conductor David Shallon, a one-time assistant of Leonard

Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic who went on to lead orchestras around

the world, died in Tokyo after suffering an asthma attack. He was 49.

Shallon, in Japan to conduct the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, was

rushed to a hospital after the attack Friday night and pronounced dead soon

thereafter, Kyodo News agency said Saturday.

The conductor, who until recently was musical director of the Jerusalem

Israel Broadcasting Authority Orchestra, came to Japan in early September for

concerts with the Tokyo group.

Shallon's wife, violist Tabea Zimmermann, had performed in the Tokyo

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concerts as a soloist, associates in Israel said. The two often performed

together.

"Shallon was at a very promising stage of his career," said Gidon Paz, who

served as the Israel Broadcasting Authority Orchestra's managing director while

Shallon was musical director.

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He said Shallon promoted new music and was especially helpful in giving

voice to upcoming Israeli composers by providing venues for their music to be

heard.

Shallon worked closely with the late conductor Leonard Bernstein throughout

the years and was his assistant at the New York Philharmonic in the 1970s, Paz

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said.

Shallon was serving as conductor of the Luxembourg Symphony Orchestra and

had homes both in Tel Aviv and in a small town outside of Frankfurt, Germany.

Shallon studied at the Vienna Academy of Music. He went on to conduct at

orchestras around the world including the Dusseldorf Symphony, the Berlin

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Philharmonic, the London Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony.

The Tel Aviv-born Shallon is survived by his wife and their 2-year-old son,

Yuval.