Herbert Blomstedt: Why I gave up the batonNews
The venerable conductor, 94 years old, now relies on his hands.
He explains why in an interview with Markus Thiel:
‘I once had a concert with the Vienna Philharmonic in Salzburg. And after a break from rehearsals I forgot my baton in the conductor’s room. Then you stand in front of a Bruckner symphony and think to yourself: run back quickly? Or ask someone to do it? So I went on. Such orchestras do not need a beat or a metronome, but a musician. And since then I have done without the baton.’
Asked what he will do on his 95th birthday, next July 11:
‘The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic have competed for it. The request from the Gewandhausorchester came a little earlier, so the Viennese are on my 100th. As you can see, I am optimistic here too. On July 11th, that is a Monday, there will be a special thanksgiving service in the Thomaskirche. No sermon, the music will speak.’