Herbert Blomstedt is one of the greatest conductors of our time. At over ninety years of age, the long-time artistic partner of the Berliner Philharmoniker is still full of vigour and artistic drive at the conductor’s desk of all leading international orchestras.
Herbert Blomstedt has been a regular guest of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 1976. Born in the USA to Swedish parents, he was initially educated at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and Uppsala University. He then studied in New York (conducting), Darmstadt (contemporary music) and Basel (Renaissance and Baroque music) before making his debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in 1954. This was followed by positions as chief conductor with the Oslo Philharmonic, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Staatskapelle Dresden. Blomstedt subsequently served as music director of the San Francisco Symphony, as chief conductor of the NDR Sinfonieorchester (now NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester) and as Gewandhauskapellmeister in Leipzig. His former orchestras in San Francisco, Leipzig, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Dresden appointed him honorary conductor, as did the Bamberg Symphony and the NHK Symphony Orchestra. Moreover, the Staatskapelle Dresden awarded him the orchestra’s Golden Badge of Honour in 2007. Blomstedt is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and has received several honorary doctorates. In 2003, he received the Grand Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and in 2016 he was awarded the Danish Léonie Sonning Music Prize for his life’s work.