Herbert Blomstedt takes a fall

Herbert Blomstedt takes a fall


norman lebrecht

June 26, 2022

The veteran Swedish conductor, 95 next month, has suffered a physical setback ahead of a series of birthday concerts in Berlin and Vienna.

The Staatsoper unter den Linden reports that he is in hospital after a fall:

Herbert Blomstedt, unfortunately having a fall yesterday afternoon, has to cancel the upcoming subscription concerts of the Staatskapelle Berlin on June 27 and 28.

He is feeling better, but will remain in hospital for observation for the time being.

We are thinking of Herbert Blomstedt and are extremely grateful to Christian Thielemann for stepping in at short notice for Herbert Blomstedt and taking over as conductor for tomorrow’s Monday and Tuesday’s concerts at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Philharmonie. Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 in E major remains on the program. Instead of Mozart’s Symphony No. 34 in C major, KV 338, Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from TRISTAN UND ISOLDE will be heard.


  • Peter San Diego says:

    Heartfelt wishes for Maestro Blomstedt’s rapid and complete recovery!

  • M McGrath says:

    To the great master all the very best.

  • Shalom Rackovsky says:

    A speedy recovery to one of the most wonderful conductors before the public today!

  • John says:

    Alarming…this is how the end started for Haitink.

    • Maria says:

      Nothing quite like a dose of pessimism and boxing the dear man up already. This has nothing to do with Bernard Haitink’s medical condition and death. It is about Herbert Blomstedt, a totally different and unique human being who happens to be a conductor!

      • Willem Philips says:

        Actually, Maria, falls in this age group are very serious and complex illnesses, and while they are not related, the outcomes can be distinctly similar. Let’s hope this isn’t the case. I suggest you read the medical literature about falls in the very elderly. It will enlighten you.

  • Adam Stern says:

    Wishing this venerable maestro a speedy and comfortable recovery.

  • MacroV says:

    Wish him all the best. Impressed by the luxury casting substitution, though.

  • Schlöndelmann says:

    I was thrilled when this concert was annonced for June 2020.
    You know what happened.
    Then I hoped for 2021.
    You know what happened.
    Now this…

    This is really sad.
    Best wishes to Herbert Blomstedt.
    Maybe next year. Or 2024.
    One can hope.

  • Michael Turner (conductor) says:

    So sorry to read this. I believe Blomstedt is one of the finest conductors on the circuit today. His understated conducting and exemplary musicianship shine as a beacon in a world where superficiality and surface pizazz seem largely to have the upper hand.

  • Emmerentia Groenewald says:

    Sorry to hear ,Maestro! Get well soon!

  • Robin Smith says:

    The Philharmonia’s performance of Bruckner 7 with Mr Blomstedt a month or so back was one of the highlights of my concert going life. Utterly glorious and have never heard the Philharmonia play so well. Get better soon.

  • Alank says:

    A wonderful musician and human being. I met him just 4 years ago after a concert in Leipzig. He met audience members after conducting the Mendelsohn 2nd Symphony and signed programs. He was just 90 then! We chatted about the symphony and the wonderful double reeds section of the the Gewandhaus Orchestra. He was so fully engaged and so kind that I shall never forget our brief encounter. A true mensch and artist! Recover soon Maestro!

  • John Larry Granger says:

    Wishing the Maestro a speedy recovery and more brilliant music making.

  • AnnaT says:

    I saw him conduct Concertgebouw orchestra a few years ago, then Boston a week later, both in Brahms 1. It was as though they were playing completely different pieces, he was that attuned to each orchestra and its uniqueness. Stunning conductor. At that time I think he was a mere 92 years old. Wishing him the speediest recovery.

  • IP says:

    Liebestod — now this is German tactfulness

  • Rob says:

    Get well very soon Mr B.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    He is a good conductor with a long distinguished career & I’m sure a jolly nice chap to boot. But at his age- its time to step aside & surrender the podium to a younger man- there are plenty of younger men with much talent who can’t even get a gig in these terrible times.

  • SES says:

    I wish Maestro Blomstedt a speedy recovery and return to the podium. He is a most extraordinary conductor and human being whose presence before an orchestra assures complete fidelity to the score and the best from the players. I look forward to seeing Maestro HB at the Philharmonie in Berlin and in San Francisco next year.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    As someone who has witnessed the Ozawa, De Waart, Blomstedt and Tilson-Thomas years in S.F., I can say that the Blomstedt years were clearly the highlight for me. They are all different, of course. I liked the young Seiji Ozawa – he was incredibly dynamic and gifted. De Waart was very good at Mahler and Rachmaninoff. Most people aren’t aware of it, but DeWaart recorded a very good cycle of Rach. piano concertos with Zoltan Koscis on Philips. DeWaart is one of these conductors for whom the bigger the work, the better he is (at least in his S.F. days, anyway). But Blomstedt has left a great legacy of S.F. recordings for Decca. And, as some have pointed out, he’s a true mensch through and through.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    I’m surprised the Mozart Symphony has to be replaced.