This maestro gets his own exclusive green room

This maestro gets his own exclusive green room


norman lebrecht

May 16, 2018

Herbert Blomstedt, 90, was today given his own Blomstedt-Lounge in Stockholm’s Konserthuset.

He made his debut as conductor in the hall with the Stockholm Philharmonic in February 1954.

This week, he is conducting the Sinfonie singulière by Franz Berwald and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.



  • Sue says:

    What a totally wonderful man. Congratulations maestro Blomstedt.

  • Olassus says:

    Best Bruckner Cycle ever — on Querstand.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Herbert Blomstedt is certainly one of the best living conductors of Bruckner. And while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I believe few would agree that Blomstedt’s Bruckner cycle is the best of all time.

      Personally, I can think of three others that are better (and actually, a lot better), and among those is one that I believe will never be matched let alone exceeded–and that’s Karajan’s.

      • Bruce says:

        Whatever. This kind of thing is always a “my dog is the greatest dog” contest. There are lots of wonderful dogs (and Bruckner cycles) out there.

      • Olassus says:

        I mean the Leipzig cycle (2005-2012), of course, Herr Doktor.

        His work is propulsive, highly lyrical, rational and transparent. Consistently so. The playing is magnificent, and real: all is live. The Gewandhaus sound is fine, only with the quibble of having to hear applause. Blomstedt rightly uses the 1872 and 1873 versions of the Second and Third Symphonies.

        Jochum makes mistakes with the editions. So does Karajan in the Second and Third. Barenboim is too often blasé. Skrowaczewski never had a consistent partner on the level of the Leipzig orchestra.

        I agree the Karajan is excellent — but particularly in the early symphonies he pushes for some kind of brilliance that is just not to be found in the music.

        Blomstedt loves each piece, and the players love him.

        • Gaffney Feskoe says:

          I do not think that his Leipzig Bruckner cycle is available any longer. Can’t imagine why, but it is not available on the Arkivmusic site. And when it was last listed there the price for the boxed set was $225!

  • Rob says:

    One of my favourite conductors|, I met him! I love his Brahms 4 on Decca, and his Nielsen is wonderful!!

  • Arthur Kaptainis says:

    Flew to Berlin in December to hear Blomstedt lead the Philharmonic in the 1873 Third — from memory. Memorable is putting it mildly.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Will have to explore his Bruckner Leipzig set. I only wish, should I be lucky to reach his age, to be half as healthy and vital and looking so good.

    • John Borstlap says:

      His secret: no alcohol, no smoking, no meat, and much classical music with lots of doses of consonants.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I frequently complain about all the complaining that goes on at this site. But I also find all this admiration for Blomstedt very heart warming. Having talked to Blomstedt and seen a good number of his programs in S.F., I think this shows really good judgement on everyone’s part here. For this, I thank you folks.

    • Glenn Hardy says:

      It is always a pleasant surprise to go through the comments and not see a single condescending or snark-drenched “observation.”

      • John Borstlap says:

        True…. Blomstedt is above criticism. A true gentleman of music and hence, an example for every performer.

  • Symphony musician says:

    Well-deserved. I’ve never seen him live but his Nielsen 4 recording with San Francisco SO is possibly my favourite orchestral recording of all.