Mock election: Berlin public votes for Rattle successor

Mock election: Berlin public votes for Rattle successor


norman lebrecht

April 26, 2015

The Morgenpost has opened its website until 5pm today for Berlin citizens to vote on who they would like to see as the next chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Readers (and listeners to RBB) are invited to choose between Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Riccardo Chailly, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Christian Thielemann. (Two of these, Muti and Nézet-Séguin, are contractually unavailable).

It’s an interesting initative and some of the comments on the site are highly intelligent. But the Berlin Phil players, when they come to vote on May 11, will be looking far beyond the sympathies of Berlin in deciding on a conductor with the potential to refurbish their international profile.

Click here for mock election.

thielemann pit2

Oh, and we’ve just received these Bayreuth pit-camera pics of the Christian T. candidate.

thielemann pit

UPDATE: Now click here for the results.


  • DLowe says:

    The only thing is, you might have thought that they would have removed those names you mentioned as being contractually unavailable. Also Dudamel – didn’t you mention he’s out of the running as well?

  • orchestermusiker says:

    Mock election? Gosh, those newspaper guys should focus on reporting facts instead of fiction.
    The real list with still-in-the-run candidates is much much shorter.

    I have no doubts that for a number of reasons Thielemann will be choice #1 for many of the musicians.

    What I really don’t like are all the wild and silly speculations, and the political, sometimes personal tone of the debate.

    The purpose of those pictures here is …unclear

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    Er, yes, that’s CT and, er, yes, that’s the Bayreuth pit. What’s the point?

  • Wurtfangler says:

    I do find it strange that it seems acceptable by many to use politics not music to attack Christian Thielemann, but when it comes to the Jerusalem Quartet it is all about the music and politics has to be left aside. Double standards anyone?

  • Max Grimm says:

    “The Morgenpost has opened its website until 5pm today for Berlin citizens to vote on who they would like to see as the next chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic.”

    Not quite, Norman. The team of the Berliner Morgenpost was at the Philharmonie after the concerts yesterday and the day before and asked the concertgoers to cast their vote on the shortlisted candidates (or submit a candidate not on the Morgenpost’s list). The results of the voting on Friday and Saturday will be made public today at 5 p.m.

  • Max Grimm says:

    Here’s a little more on the event:

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Here is a notable comment from this clip, at 0:48-0:55:

      “Ich habe dem jüngsten Kandidaten gewählt. Ich weiß jetzt dem Namen gar nicht genau, aber ich habe gutes von Ihm gehört.”

      “I voted for the youngest candidate. I now don’t know exactly his name, but have heard good things about him.”

  • Wurtfangler says:

    So making a politically-suggestive remark is worse than a politically-suggestive act? Can anyone point me in the direction of the quartet condemning their being described thus: ‘For the three immigrants (3 members of the Quartet emigrated to Israel from Russia), carrying a rifle in one hand and a violin in the other is the ultimate Zionist statement.’?

    I am not in any way supporting the demonstration agains the quartet – what I am arguing is that on one page of this site demonstrations against the perceived politics of an artist (the quartet) are condemned, and on another page a photograph of an artist is linked to Adolf Hitler, owing to perceived political beliefs.

    There IS a double standard there.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      What nonsense. There is no link or suggestion anywhere on this site to AH.

      • rambonito says:

        What are you expecting with these photos?

      • herrera says:

        Just an unfortunate shadow cast by Thielemann’s nose on his upper lip to create the impression of a Hitlerian mustache. Not Mr. Lebrecht’s fault, just bad lighting at Bayreuth. lol.

      • Wurtfangler says:


        I’m not sure where you get sent when you click the link in John Borstlap’s post above, but I get sent to a youtube clip of the very fine Swiss actor Bruno Ganz playing, Adolf Hitler! Hence the point of my posts!

  • Sebastian says:

    Hey Norman!
    I have a suggestion for you – don’t put your nose in other people’s business so much. The election of a music director of the Berlin Philharmonic is not what you should write speculations about all the time. It is a senseless discussion and just “politics”.
    Why don’t you write about the return of the british music hero to England and how happy you are with that fact.
    At least this would be something the community could believe from you.

    Please – stop writing about Berlin. It is not your business.

    • DLowe says:

      What a bizarre comment. Utterly bizarre. Why shouldn’t he comment on Berlin? Why should he comment on London? Should London journalists be banned from speculating, say, about the candidates for the American Presidency? Should German journalists be banned from speculating about the outcome of the UK General Election?


      • rambonito says:

        Of course he should stop. Nothing new or intersting. It only matters what the orchestra will vote. Nobody else. the vote concerns only 129 people

  • Iain Scott says:

    Refurbish ? Really? What planet are you on these days Norman,well apart from planet stir it ?

  • Philip says:

    I was hoping Berlin would take Muti as I live in Chicago

  • Petros Linardos says:

    To me the listeners’ comments on Berliner Morgenpost sounded more instinctive than informed. Most of them “voted” based on whom they liked, without any further reasoning.

  • Eetu Karhu says:

    What you mean refurbish? I think Berlin Philharmoniker has a very good international profile, don´t you.

    I think that choosing Andris Nelssons would be great mistake. Young guy has a poor conducting tehnique…

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