Herbert Blomstedt conducts Schubert and Beethoven

Herbert Blomstedt (photo: Martin U.K. Lengemann)

Herbert Blomstedt’s guiding principle is “to conduct fewer works, but to work on them thoroughly”. This self-restraint alone invariably makes his interpretations an event. Blomstedt is one of the long-standing artistic friends of the Berliner Philharmoniker, and at this concert he conducts a composer who has never been heard during this partnership: Franz Schubert, who composed his Third Symphony at the age of 18. Beethoven’s Seventh, which is also on the programme, was written two years earlier. What unites Schubert’s early work and the symphony of the mature Beethoven? Their optimistic, graceful and rousing spirit.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Herbert Blomstedt conductor

Franz Schubert

Symphony No. 3 in D major, D 200

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 7 in A major, op. 92

Dates and Tickets


Herbert Blomstedt

“Conducting is a good profession to grow old in, because it’s always a challenge – and you need challenges when you get older,” says Herbert Blomstedt, born in 1927, who has collaborated with the Berliner Philharmoniker for 46 years. The Swedish-American conductor is an artist who steps back in humility behind the musical work – noble, charming and modest: “As I see it, my job is to make the music say as much as possible, I as little as possible.” Even when he has conducted a work many times, he always rethinks his approach: “I make a lot of notes, because I study the scores very carefully, so that each note has its own special meaning.” Herbert Blomstedt, who studied in Uppsala, New York, Darmstadt and Basel, made his debut in 1954 conducting the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. During his career, he was music director or chief conductor in San Francisco, Leipzig, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Dresden. He serves as honorary conductor of his former orchestras as well as the Vienna Philharmonic. He still conducts twelve orchestras regularly, which he calls his “family”. Blomstedt is convinced that there can never be absolute certainty in musical questions: “Self-doubts are always with me. Self-doubts are good. The opposite, too much certainty, is fatal in art.”