Leipzig books 90 year-old for 26 concerts next season

The Gewandhaus, which is publishing details today of Andris Nelsons’s first half-season as Kapellmeister, has allocated no fewer than 26 concerts to the US-born Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt, who will be 90 next year.

Guess he doesn’t cancel as easily as those wussy youngsters.

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  • He’s a great guy: genuine and focussed. When I spoke wth him last year, in Edinburgh, he relished the fact that his career is winding up not winding down. Go hear him!

  • So now I hope to read of say a 5+ disc recording contract for Blomstedt, given the many concert opportunities with a world class orchestra.
    DG/Decca perhaps… ?

  • I attend many of his concerts when he was music director in San Francisco. As good as he was then, he’s better now!

  • Rather surprisingly for me, when HB while already in his later eighties conducted our orchestra just a couple of seasons ago, his rehearsals and performances actually impressed me in an even more positive way than when I first worked with him three decades earlier. Either one of us became a better musician or maybe we both did… He certainly is a truly fine maestro and a real gentleman too.

    • I have heard him with the Concertgebouw last Friday in Eindhoven in Dvorak and Beethoven. I enjoyed more the former than the latter.

      • No one is equally good in everything. In this case, one of the following scenarios may have occurred: either his Dvorak on that occasion was more successfully inspired and/or realized than his Beethoven, or the former was simply closer to your taste for it than the latter. A combination of the two is a possibility as well.

  • Heard him this past summer at Lucerne with gewandhaus — Bruckner 5– outstanding. Conducted from memory and with great vigor. Just amazing

  • I don’t know if he is appearing with the orchestra 26 times, but, in addition to appearances in Leipzig, he conducts the orchestra in London (Barbican), Berlin (Philharmonie), Vienna (Musikvereinsaal) and Baden-Baden. These are billed as 90th birthday appearances.
    His recent peformances of the Eighth Symphony in New York brought a weight and stature to the piece that I have never encountered before.

  • Blomstedt is par excellence. Attended his Philadelphia concert a few weeks ago. His conducting style is so economical, yet precise, radiating joy! No excess energy spent. No stage shows man distraction. Just pure beautiful music. What a privilege to see and listen to in live concert.

    His conducting style reminds me of Haitink’s Mahler 9th with New York last year …. Haitink’s right hand movement was no more than the size of an standard movie poster in that concert, yet the sheer power he draw from the orchestra was out of this earth.

    Wish the younger superstars would conduct like him. They conduct the audience more than the orchestra, if you see what I meant.

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