For Christoph Von Dohnanyi, the comeback begins at 90

For Christoph Von Dohnanyi, the comeback begins at 90


norman lebrecht

September 08, 2019

The veteran conductor , who is 90 years old today, has been prone to cancellations in the past couple of years.

But that, we hear, is behind him.

In the coming season, he will conduct the Orchestre de Paris, Tonhalle Zurich and, after many years absence, the Vienna Philharmonic. Beyond those, he’s booking dates at Hamburg and Boston.

Many happy returns, Christoph!




  • rob says:

    His stupendous work with the VPO!

  • Pedro says:

    Now that Haitink has retired, only Blomstedt and Dohnányi remain to represent the conductors born in the 20’s. I prefer Blomstedt whom I have heard yesterday in a superb Tod und Verklärung and a less successful Eroica, with very good Rűckerts, with Gerhaher, in the middle. Dohnányi I first heard in 1978 in a Salzburg Rosenkavalier where he replaced Böhm. The cast was impressive (Janowitz, Minton, Popp, Moll), the conductor less so.

    • Jon H says:

      Both Blomstedt and Dohnanyi are capable of “sober” versions – and if you’ve heard them for years, it’s no surprise. It’s not everyone’s taste – and it really depends – there are some conductors coming up that I don’t think are adding anything helpful to the music… but it’s personal taste.

  • Amos says:

    In addition to revitalizing the Cleveland Orchestra, the man and his family have overcome so much pain and suffering that one can only wish him the very best life has to offer. I look forward to hearing him again with the BSO.

  • Baton baton says:

    Oh no, I hoped we had heard the last from this podium tyrant 🙁

  • Jon H says:

    For some reason, aside from Cleveland, his work with the other big five seems easy to take for granted – and I think his qualities would be more beneficial to the other majors. I think one of his homes is near Milwaukee…

  • Freddynyc says:

    When did he last appear with the Vienna Phil….?

    • Pedro says:

      In the Summer of 2001 at the Salzburg Festival. Ariadne auf Naxos with Deborah Polaski, Susan Graham and Natalie Dessay. They sang well (specially Graham and Dessay) but the Grosses Festspielhaus is too big a hall for the work. I have heard from a very reliable source that it was imposed by Polaski. Dohnanyi’s conducting was very heavy-handed.

  • JohnG says:

    I’d like to see an original sleeve boxed set from Universal of Dohnanyi’s often excellent Decca recordings.

  • Gustavo says:

    Ádám Fischer is 70 today!

  • Craig says:

    I’m so grateful for slipped disc to keep me updated on Arts news, especially from Cleveland because I live in Argentina and I would otherwise not know about the return of CHRISTOPH VON DOHNANYI, nor the improvements at the Cleveland Institute of Music, even when my trombone teacher, Alan Kofski, died a year ago. Thank you slipped disk for your entertaining articles and information