Herbert Blomstedt conducts Beethoven’s “Eroica”

(photo: Martin U.K. Lengemann)

Contrasting worlds of expression: the elegiac, world-weary Metamorphosen, in which the 81-year-old Richard Strauss mourns the devastation of the Second World War, and the driving, revolutionary “Eroica” of the young Beethoven. Strauss creates a connection by quoting a motif from the funeral march of the “Eroica”. Herbert Blomstedt, the conductor of the concerts, combines both the wisdom of age and esprit in his charismatic personality. When the long-time associate of the Berliner Philharmoniker conducts the orchestra, it is always a special artistic event.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Herbert Blomstedt conductor

Richard Strauss

Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, op. 55 “Eroica”

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.”

Season’s focus

This season we are looking at "Heroes" and whether we still need them.


Richard Strauss’s “Metamorphosen”


Richard Strauss and the Berliner Philharmoniker