Berlin maestro retires with immediate effect

Berlin maestro retires with immediate effect


norman lebrecht

October 28, 2015

Marek Janowski has resigned from today as artistic director and chief conductor of the Berlin radio symphony orchestra ( Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB)). He was expected to continue in office to the end of the season.

Janowski, 76, says he has decided to step down to make a ‘swift and smooth transition’ to his successor, Vladimir Jurowski, who is due to take over in 2017. Until the end of this season, Janowski will conduct all his scheduled concerts.

marek janowski


  • Max Grimm says:

    I believe he had already mentioned his wish to fulfill his remaining RSB engagements through the end of 2016 as “Gastdirigent” (guest conductor), when he announced that he would not renew his contract in April. Thankfully this seems to be the case, as the report mentions that his remaining concerts are not affected by this.

  • CDH says:

    So what does “with immediate effect” mean? Where I come from, that means today, goodbye.

    • Max Grimm says:

      Things could have been made quite clear (but would have forfeited some of their attention-grabbing potential).
      In April 2015 Mr. Janowski announced that he would not renew his contract as artistic director and chief conductor of the RSB, as he felt that the time was appropriate for a change in leadership. He also said that when the orchestra has found a replacement, he intended to continue his engagements as “guest conductor”.
      So, as of today, Mr. Janowski handed off his titles of artistic director and chief conductor (along with the administrative and managerial obligations bound to those posts) and will now only have to occupy himself with the musical aspects of his future RSB engagements.

      • CDH says:

        Thank you, Mr. Grimm. So, not exactly “retires,” then. But given the necessary brevity of headers, I suppose fair enough — though it is still (as so often around here) misleading. I can think of accurate heads that would fit.

  • Paul Yancich says:

    Your headline is misleading. Conductors never retire.

  • Emil says:

    Why is this not “Breaking” or “Exclusive”? I think a proper SD headline would be: “Breaking: Everything Going as Planned in Berlin”.

    • Olassus says:


      • Emil says:

        I agree entirely! 🙂

        • Philip Amos says:

          If he didn’t sensationalize stories and use attention-grabbing headers, no one would read the blog. As I said re a recent item, reading his posts is like an exercise in hermeneutics. I keep looking at the blog because it’s often akin to cryptic crosswords, which I enjoy, and I can also play ‘Spot NL’S Latest Mistake’. I figure that somewhere, probably in a book, he’s bound to do another ‘Naxos’ sooner or later. It was that catastrophe that really made his name.

          • Emil says:

            On the contrary, I am sure he would have just as many regular readers if he focussed on providing quality content and elementary fact-checking. I am confident that the market for serious and professional coverage of classical music is far bigger than the market for false drama, fallacious arguments and incorrect facts. On another note, the Sun has a circulation of 2 million, whereas the Guardian is under 200 000 and the Times slightly under 400 000 (all figures from Wikipedia); that does not mean that one should aim for the standards of the Sun.

            That does not exclude any possibility of commentary and opinion, of course, but only requires that said opinions be well-informed and avoid demagogy.

  • Abram kreeger says:

    Yet another headline worthy of a Hearst paper. Janowski is a conductor of the highest order, but struck me when he came to Miami and that he is not the Ormandy type to sell himself and instead was incredibly focused on the substance of his music making.

    Another headline inappropriate and this time for such a dedicated and tremendous conductor who has no immediacy with respect to the stoppage of his conducting that orchestra

    Then again accuracy from the proponent of sensationalism is quite variable

  • Jevgeniy says:

    sock puppets