They walked past Beethoven on a freezing afternoon to bury beloved Yakov

A friend has sent me the following report from yesterday’s final rites for Yakov Kreizberg at the central cemetery, Vienna:

A wintry Saturday, 8th October, about 50 international close friends and colleagues of conductor Yakov Kreizberg joined his widow Amy and son Daniel to inter his ashes in the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna. We sat in a grey marbled hall, gorgeous flowers lovingly arranged, to listen to many warm words in German and English, rendered almost incomprehensible by the acoustics of a swimming pool. Occasionally anecdotes would surface about Yakov’s sense of humour or his insatiable appetite for fruit salad.

Julia Fischer played the monumental Bach Chaconne, the joined Daniel Müller-Schott for a Ravel Duo, which was followed by a trio played by members of the Wiener Symphoniker. But finally the irrepressible Maestro himself took charge, conducting his Bruckner 7 as we filed out, following the urn carrying his ashes.. It was long cold walk through the biggest cemetery in Europe, past the graves of Beethoven and Schubert, to pay our tributes at the grave of this charismatic, energetic, brilliant musician, who can still warm our hearts.


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