Breaking: Thielemann cancels, health questions raised

Breaking: Thielemann cancels, health questions raised


norman lebrecht

April 15, 2016

Christian Thielemann has cancelled this week’s Dresden concerts on medical grounds.

Bild reports he has heart problems. Dresden strongly denies it.

The Staatskapelle music director is 57.

thielemann sport1


  • Peter says:

    This is not breaking. They might have told the orchestra only yesterday, when the rehearsals for the concerts he misses began, but the official announcements had been given approx. five days ago for anyone to see in the concert calendar.

  • DESR says:

    Hope he is ok! Alongside Bernard Haitink, our greatest living Wagner conductor. (For ‘our’ read the global opera community….)

    He has a heavy schedule but let us trust that we will still see and hear him conduct the Dresden Staatskapelle at the Proms in September…

  • DESR says:

    That too! In fact, he is incomparable in Strauss, you are right.

  • Dave T says:

    Truly useful news. Thank you SD!
    No mention was made of this on this very day (Friday) at the SSD box office. Am having to rethink my plans.

  • Pedro says:

    Thielemann should be the next MET Music Director. He is one of the best not only in Wagner and Strauss but slso in Verdi and Puccini. He could also conduct supreme performances of Freischütz, Palestrina, Hansel & Gretel, Cav & Pag, etc.

    • Mark says:

      Thielemann, well known for his right-wing and anti-Semitic views working in NYC ? Now, that’s funny …

      • Peter says:

        Sure, which is why this season his pianist in residence in Dresden is Yefim Bronfman. Do you have some real quote, I mean something that is not hearsay and badmouthing, that you can make such a grave accusation? Please tell us.
        As far as “right-wing” is concerned, AFAIK he openly is a national conservative, a mindset that in countries like he USA or Israel is actually not right-wing but in the wide middle of the road. Thielemann’s expressed political standing would in the US be considered moderate conservative if not moderate liberal. So, what is your point actually? That he has a bad press in the US and that you take everything that is in the media for absolute truth?
        I’m not even a fan of his, but I find these mean to outright evil attacks by people who know nothing but silly hearsay very disgraceful.

        • Mark says:

          We are not in a court of law, I don’t have to prove anything. Incidentally, I do know somebody who dealt with him & firmly believes that Thielemann is an anti-Semite. He has that reputation – do you expect Mrs. Ziff or Gelb or the board of the Met (with many Jewish members) to disregard that ?

          • Peter says:

            I absolutely expext executive management and board to base their decisions on reason and facts, not gossip and smear campaigns, so the answer to your question is yes!

            Besides that, its not even an issue, because T. is not available and wouldn’t want the job anyway.

          • Olassus says:

            No substance.

          • John says:

            You KNOW SOMEONE, who THINKS SOMETHING? Wow, that’s a good basis on which to publicly label someone a racist. A ten-year-old’s logic.

      • Holly Golightly says:

        Just because he doesn’t agree with YOU, but reflects real concerns in his community, is no reason to criticize his work. He’d probably say that you were a precious bien pensant conformist who wanted to suppress the freedom of speech of others and demonstrate your moral vanity, if you asked him.

        Hope you are OK Christian – you’re a champion!!

      • James says:

        Where there are no antiSemites, no antiGermans, one must invent them.(see above)
        Or even better, watch this: I now open my private files and announce that Bach,
        Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms all hated Jews. Yesiree.
        A rabbi once told me that converts were the worst sort of antiSemites, having abandoned
        the ‘faith of their fathers’. Where does that leave poor old Mahler? According to
        my files, in the best of company. Proof? Who needs proof? It’s the idea that counts…
        the wishful idea.

        • Anon says:

          Well that is such a taboo subject, so almost impossible to argue reasonably in public.
          At the end of the day, secular judaism faces the existential challenge, that without the defining religion, and cultural values ever fading, the last refuge is nationalism, aka zionism. So antisemitism can serve as an identifying force. And if you don’t get enough of it, you can also invent it. It’s a two sided sword.
          We are too far down that rabbit hole I’m afraid.

          • Jaybuyer says:

            As someone who is a distant observer, it seems impossible to be able to criticise the government of Israel without being called a Jew hater and a Holocaust denier. Most eye popping for me is the video of Barenboim receiving some cultural prize in Israel and a government minister walking out of the ceremony because he had the audacity to read from the Israeli Constitution.

          • norman lebrecht says:

            You are using more than one identity. Desist.

    • Erich says:

      He simply does not have the stamina for the MET job – and anyway, the jungle drums are beating the name of Nezet-Seguin as the new MD.

    • Simon S. says:

      Thielemann is a truly great conductor, but he has repeatedly demonstrated he is a very poor music director.

    • Jaybuyer says:

      ‘Palestrina’ – no, please, no! The Met is in enough financial trouble

  • DESR says:

    Nezet-Seguin is a very gifted conductor, no doubt.

    But his sartorial standards are no better than Thielemann’s, with his stripy rugby shirts and Mum’s knits that NL so enjoys putting up on this site.

    For the sad truth is that Yannick habitually wears shiny, tight bum-squeaker suits. I for one have never seen him in a half-decent tailcoat.

    Norman will have to start picking this up surely, if he gets the MET job?! I mean, it’s important! And we must be fair…