Conductors seem to live for ever, but the last of the extraordinary generation which yielded Claudio Abbado, Carlo-Maria Giulini, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kurt Sanderlng, Pierre Boulez and Günter Wand, Herbert Blomstedt is a phenomenon. Born in 1927 he has been at the helm of some of the world's finest ensembles including the Dresden Staatskapelle, Leipzig Gewandhaus and San Francisco Symphony orchestras. He is utterly out of keeping with any of the 'maestro' clichés. He is quiet, understated, modest and very, very charming. The splendid thing about his music making is that he gets more dynamic as he gets older. I really never expected to hear anything new in Beethoven's 7th Symphony, but a performance at the Bath Festival with the Philharmonia in 2017 felt like a new piece of music and I have never seen players more committed and energised. Oh, and his Bruckner is to die for.
Enjoy his Beethoven 7 by clicking here
Hear him in interview by clicking here
Enjoy his Bruckner 4 by clicking here