The first political congratulations are seeping in ahead of the conductor’s birthday tomorrow. Doubtless a telegram tonight from Angela Merkel, a firm admirer.
Sixty is a career midpoint for a conductor.
Thielemann, music director in Bayreuth and Dresden, is triumphant in the German-speaking world and a popular figure in China and Japan. The three essential composers are, in his view, Beethoven, Wagner and Richard Strauss.
He hardly ever appears in the English-speaking world. After early ventures with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Covent Garden, he seems to have abandoned British and American laurels to less assertive conductors.
This is a rare visit, in core repertoire: