British conductor Frank Shipway was revered all over the world for his work.

Mr Shipway, 79, who lived in Conock, near Devizes died on August 6 following a two vehicle crash on the A342 at Wedhampton the day before.

A child prodigy, Mr Shipway gained a place at The Royal College of Music to study piano and later switched to conducting – always his greater passion.

In 1973 he was appointed assistant conductor to Lorin Maazel at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and during his years in Berlin, he seized the opportunity to learn from Herbert von Karajan, whom he regarded as one of the greatest conductors and orchestral trainers in history.

From 1985 to 1988 he served as principal guest conductor of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Copenhagen and in 1989 he became principal guest conductor of the Royal Orchestra of Flanders in Belgium.

In 1991 he was asked to form the new Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI (Radio Audizioni Italiane) in Italy and was chief conductor for four years. The orchestra achieved immense success, not only in Italy.

Between 1996 and 1999 Mr Shipway was the chief conductor and artistic director of BRT Philharmonic Orchestra in Brussels and in 1999 agreed to become artistic director and chief conductor of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra.

He conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic.

He and his wife, Carmen, moved to Conock in 2009 and he stepped in to become the director of Devizes Junior Eisteddfod the following year.

He also took an interest in local matters and had been a member of Chirton Parish Council for about three years and was chairman at the time of his death.

Mr Shipway always reserved time for the training of young conductors. He was professor of conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Music in Brussels and he served on the juries of a number of international conducting competitions.

Mr Shipway also worked extensively and had great success in the world of opera, conducting at the English National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Royal Danish Opera and National Theatre in Manneheim.

Most recently he had embarked on the recording of all the Richard Strauss symphonic poems with the Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra.

As a person Mr Shipway was passionate, hard working and driven. He was a social person who enjoyed inspiring and encouraging younger people in their careers – always pushing them hard to achieve greater things.

He was also very funny and enjoyed a good joke, preferably with a large whisky in his hand.

His sense of humour was wicked and there was always a naughty glint in his eye. He was a kind and loyal friend and always had time for lunch and a chance to put the world to rights.

Mr Shipway leaves a widow Carmen, daughter Eugene, stepdaughter Ella and two grandchildren.

There will be a private funeral followed by a memorial service, the dates of which are to be confirmed.