Yakov Kreizberg tributes

Yakov Kreizberg tributes


norman lebrecht

March 16, 2011

Print media has been slow to report the early death of conductor Yakov Kreizberg and no full appreciation has yet appeared, outside of Holland’s Volkskrant.

Youtube, though, is quick off the mark. Hilary Hahn has uploaded three segments of her video interview with Yakov, both clearly having fun, together with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra concertmaster, Florian Zwiauer. Yakov’s warmth and generosity comes over full blast.
There are also clips of him talking about various composers, including Mahler.
19026_KREIZBERG Yakov - conducting.jpg
I have fond memories of him working in Berlin at the Komische Opera with the 90-odd but very sprightly Berthold Goldschmidt. You can hear sample clips from the Decca album here.
The Goldschmidt Album
Desperately sad to have lost him.
Here’s a reminiscence from the former Bournemouth Symphony manager, Tony Woodcock:
‘I have adored this man for many years as a unique artist, musician, pianist, and wonderful conductor, but mostly as my great friend and collaborator.’


  • Dear Norman,
    I’m deeply saddened by the news of the premature demise of my friend and colleague, Yakov Kreizberg.
    He was such an inspirational musician, one could easily describe him as having “the Midas Touch”: whatever symphonic repertoire he approached was turned into GOLD: as fresh as if recreated then, by Yakov’s deep understanding of his main instrument, the Orchestra.
    On the other hand only last summer though, I was astonished to hear him playing the piano in a small festival in France: a note perfect rendition of a Brahms Sonata with Julia Fisher, which he also played mostly by heart! Conductors are not supposed to plat THAT well anything else…
    His cunning and humour were great assets for a companion at dinner table following a performance; lastly but not least his positive attitude to life — an inspiration to a realist Brazilian, like me!
    The few concerts we did together — actually both in works by Rachmaninov with the BSO in Bournemouth & Amsterdam, and the Maggio Musicale in Firenze — were among the very best-ever musical ‘ententes’ that I ever experienced.
    I have no words to explain how great a loss, that someone so talented and still so young has been taken from us that early: apart from his music making, I’ll never forget his warmth as a human being or his oh-so-tight hug each time we met: I SO need one now, dearest Yakov!
    Cristina Ortiz
    Dear Cristina
    That was exactly my experience. He blew fun and fire into a room. Never a dreary moment. Always left you wanting more.
    We were privileged to know him.

  • Eleanor Hope says:

    What a terrible loss this is. Yakov Kreizberg
    was a wonderful artist, and a delightful, sensitive, charming and unfailingly courteous man. Benno and I extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family, his friends and his orchestra, and share their sorrow.