The veteran maestro, 93, is working this week in Stockholm.
Asked why the Finns are so successful at producing good conductors he said:
‘Finland is less of a spoiled nation than Sweden, there are fewer temptations. They’ve lived in a dangerous place, been skilled in diplomacy and managed to handle Russia. Therefore they are more introverted and work on their own. Sweden has succeeded in its economy and could afford to hire foreign conductors.
‘Here we have the ratpoison that Finland couldn’t afford. Elias Canetti said: “Success is ratpoison for art.”‘
Blomstedt is conducting the Swedish Radio Symphony this week in Schubert’s Great C major Symphony. Last week he was in Bamberg with Bruckner 8.
Blomstedt, 93, with soloist Johan Dalene, 20