In January 2015, Christian Thielemann conducted a work by Ludwig van Beethoven with the Berliner Philharmoniker for the first time – the “Eroica” – almost twenty years after he made his debut here. In this interview given to mark this occasion, the conductor discusses among other things his memories of Herbert von Karajan, who Amadeus Heutling, violinist with the Berliner Philharmoniker since 1984, also knew as chief conductor. Thielemann was assistant to Karajan and as a viola player, he was also a student of the orchestra’s own Academy. Looking back on his development as a conductor, Thielemann explains how the opera and also the operetta repertoire helped him develop a more economic conducting style. Other topics of conversation are Hans Werner Henze, whose tone poem Sebastian im Traum is also part of the concert programme, plus the question of how the relationship between conductor and orchestra has changed since Karajan’s time.