The legendary Herbert Blomtedt leading the NHK Symphony in music of Beethoven and Stenhammer during this Subscription concert on October 24, 2018 and recorded live from the stage at Suntory Hall in Tokyo by NHK-FM.
Beginning with Beethoven’s Symphony Number 6 (Pastoral) and concluding with Wilhelm Stenhammar’s Symphony number 2.
Born in the USA to Swedish parents and educated in Uppsala, New York, Darmstadt and Basel, Herbert Blomstedt gave his conducting debut in 1954 with the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and subsequently served as Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic, the Swedish and Danish Radio Orchestras and the Staatskapelle Dresden. Later, he became Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Chief Conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig. His former orchestras in San Francisco, Leipzig, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Dresden as well as the Bamberg Symphony and the NHK Symphony Orchestra all honored him with the title of Conductor Laureate.
Herbert Blomstedt holds several Honorary Doctorates, is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Music Academy and was awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit. Over the years, all leading orchestras around the globe have been fortunate to secure the services of the highly renowned Swedish conductor. At the age of over ninety, with enormous mental and physical presence, verve and artistic drive, he continues to be at the helm of all leading international orchestras.
His extensive discography includes over 130 works with the Dresden Staatskapelle, amongst them all symphonies of Beethoven and Schubert. With the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra Herbert Blomstedt recorded the complete works of Carl Nielsen. 1987 he and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra signed up an exclusive contract with Decca and numerous of their recordings received major awards; his complete cycles of the symphonies of Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen enjoy reference standard.
His collaboration with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig has been documented by several labels. For Decca, he recorded Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9, Paul Hindemith’s Sinfonia serena and Die Harmonie der Welt, piano concertos of Felix Mendelssohn and works by Richard Strauss. Releases also include Sandström’s High Mass for Deutsche Grammophon and F. Mendelssohn’s Elijah for RCA Red Seal. German label querstand released a box of live concert recordings covering the Leipzig period from 1998 to 2005, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 (a recording of Herbert Blomstedt’s farewell concerts with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig) and, most recently, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7.
Sit back, relax and enjoy, and come back next week. Or stick around and go exploring.