Berlin Philharmonic announcement delayed again

Berlin Philharmonic announcement delayed again


norman lebrecht

May 11, 2015

We were expecting a puff of white smoke at 1730.

We’ve just heard a press conference has been called for 1900 – and the players will be locked up in the church until then.


LATEST (2000): They are still locked in debate.

berlin philharmonie


  • Chris says:

    Doesn’t 7pm mean 6pm GMT? So we only have to wait 20 mins?

    • SDReader says:

      The puff was supposed to be at 18h30 German time, according to BR Klassik, which would equate to Norman’s 17h30.

      On that basis, the news conference would now be at 20h00 in Germany and 19h00 in London.

  • raulpianissimo says:

    …wonder if Sarah Willis really should have tweeted ‘Nelsons did it!’ a while ago…

  • David says:

    1900 German time, one presumes?

  • John Daszak says:

    My sources tell me it’s to be Andris Nelsons? I won’t be eating my hat if it isn’t!!

  • myturn says:

    If Thielemann is elected I will lose all my respect for the BPO brand.

    He is a Celebidache of sorts. Good for a loyal cult, dangerous as a leader.

  • CDH says:

    Yikes. Reminds me of budget lock-ups when I was a journo.

    Cell phones must have been checked at the door. We have ways of making you not talk…

  • John Borstlap says:

    A Berlin friend of mine who happens to live opposite of the church, was told by the sacristan that two viola players had smashed their instruments on the head of the concert master, and that the tuba player has been pushed upside-down into his instrument. Also, screams have been heard from inside the building which is currently cordoned-off by the police. No doubt the outcome of all this will be surprising.

  • Agnes says:

    Sir Simon should stay, that would be the best of all solutions

  • Jevgeniy says:

    So, there has been secrecy about how this decision is carried out… can we assume based on the length of their conclave, that not only a vote takes place, ie: they discuss the decision? Are players “stumping” for various candidates? It would seem so.

  • Novagerio says:

    You gotta be totally tonedeaf if you compare Celibidache with Thielemann – of just anyone.

  • Reinhold Martin says:

    Much ado about nothing worth discussion.

    • will says:

      exactly so, how many times can you paraphrase ‘tedious’, ‘boring’, etc.?
      What the #### does it matter who Sir Simon’s successor is going to be? They will still continue to play in the ‘BPO style’ no matter who is waving their arms at them!

      • Jevgeniy says:

        Compare their sound from Karajan to Abbado and to Rattle and you have to admit it has been changed, honed, challenged.

      • Petros LInardos says:

        The orchestra may have a somewhat recognizable sound, but Rattle, Thielemann or Dudamel, to name only three conductors, produce different interpretations.

  • DESR says:

    This is not great news, whoever squeaks in at the finish, presumably a compromise candidate of some kind. But if the initial choice was indeed between Nelsons and Thielemann, they have had an embarrassment of riches. I still think Bychkov should have been given a proper run at it.

    I just hope that things aren’t so messy that rival factions cancelling each other out results in a milk-and-water selection.

  • Wurtfangler says:

    One must assume that they are having to really thrash things out and that there is no clear candidate. Does not bode well – they may end up with a compromise candidate who noone is really happy with.

    I’m available but they haven;t called yet.

  • Teodor says:

    Am i supposed to wait longer than I’ll have the concert with BPO!

  • will says:

    What a shame that John Eliot Gardiner, Roger Norrington and Andrew Manze were obviously not on the ‘short list’. Any of those geniuses would have been a shot in the arm for the stuffy, conservative, load of reactionaries that sadly is the 21st century BPO!
    Ivan Fischer even better!

  • Carlos Kleiber says:

    Well, bring me in from Heaven. I’m sure better than all these clowns…
    And I’ve been already judged, to boot!

  • herrera says:

    The announcement is not delayed, it’s not even noon yet in Los Angeles, you don’t want to wake up the Dude too early with the news. It’s not like the Swedish Academy, you don’t wake people up 3 AM in the morning.

  • Ivor Morgan says:

    Remember how the news of Abbado’s appointment in late 80s was leaked by a player , Japanese I think ? Now BPO are really trying to keep it secret.

  • Stick from heaven says:

    Carlos Kleiber has been called. He’d take it if he could make the BPO play only in Digital Concert Hall with a Lego audience.

    Seriously, these players are waaaay over the top in their self-important egos. Some “fractions” (sic) will end up blackmailing whoever is crowned THE CHOSEN ONE.

  • Guilherme says:

    Announcement in minutes, press staff told

  • Stick from heaven says:

    It’s like: who on Earth would now wanna take this gig??? He’d better take a heat-resistent helmet to rehearsals.

    These things are best decided BEFORE the actual meeting. Now this thing was sort of a bloodshed. Who wants this?

  • Anon says:

    The announcement will be, that there will be no announcement…

  • philip says:

    Love the wit and humour on here. I’ll be sorry when it’s all over.

  • Guilherme says:

    They didnt reach a name! No director chosen

  • M2N2K says:

    Since at this time there is no one available who is as accomplished overall as their current MD or as were his two predecessors, the best solution would be to make no decision today and try this selecting process again in a couple of years when one of the younger maestros might emerge as the next great conductor. If as a result they might go a year or two with podium guests after Sir Simon leaves, it is still better than settling for a hasty “compromise” solution that might result in several wasted years for this brilliant orchestra.

  • LOUIS says:

    I agree with M2N2K that they are waiting for a younger maestro to emerge. And this maestro will be Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

  • Barbara says:

    I’m getting very fed up with this obsession on this blog about the BPO as if it is the most important thing in the music world.

    • Angela says:

      It…kind of is?

      Jokes aside, I’m happy about this on multiple levels. The buzz created, the inclusion and sense of ownership of the whole orchestra, and the all sorts of discussions arising from it. And to be honest, GMD of BP has a lot of clout in the music world. I daresay Rattle was an influential figure not just for BP but for the music world as a whole. (Education, DCH, projects, etc.) For this reason, I think BP needs a true visionary who is not simply another “great conductor”. The rest of the music world can also benefit from the process of election, although of course, by all means, partaking in the discussion is at your discretion!