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Herbert Blomstedt

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Title: Herbert Blomstedt  
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Subject: San Francisco Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra
Collection: 1927 Births, 20Th-Century American Musicians, 20Th-Century Conductors (Music), 21St-Century American Musicians, 21St-Century Conductors (Music), American Conductors (Music), American Emigrants to Sweden, Carl Nielsen Prize Winners, Commanders Crosses of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Grammy Award Winners, Knights of the Order of the Dannebrog, Living People, New England Conservatory Alumni, People from Springfield, Massachusetts, Royal College of Music, Stockholm Alumni, Swedish Conductors (Music), Swedish Seventh-Day Adventists, Uppsala University Alumni
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Herbert Blomstedt

Herbert Blomstedt (Swedish: ; born July 11, 1927) is a Swedish conductor.

Blomstedt giving a lecture on Brahms' choral music during the Choral festival in Lund, Sweden 2008.

Herbert Blomstedt was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and two years after his birth, his Swedish parents moved the family back to their country of origin. He studied at the Stockholm Royal College of Music and the University of Uppsala, followed by studies of contemporary music at Darmstadt in 1949, Baroque music with Paul Sacher at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, and further conducting studies with Igor Markevitch, Jean Morel at the Juilliard School, and Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood's Berkshire Music Center. Blomstedt also lived in Finland during his youth.

He won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize in 1953 and the Salzburg Conducting Competition in 1955.[1]

Blomstedt is most noted for his performances of German and Austrian composers, such as Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner and Richard Strauss, and also as a champion of Scandinavian composers, such as Edvard Grieg, Franz Berwald, Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen.

A devout Seventh-day Adventist, Blomstedt does not rehearse on Friday nights or Saturdays, the Sabbath in Seventh-day Adventism. He does, however, conduct concerts, since he considers actual performances to be an expression of his religious devotion rather than work.

He has been Music Director or Principal Conductor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (1954–1962), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (1962–1968), Danish Radio Symphony (1967–1977) and Swedish Radio Symphony (1977–1982). From 1975-1985, he served as chief conductor of the Dresdner Staatskapelle, in the process making many well-regarded recordings, including works of Richard Strauss and the complete Beethoven and Schubert symphonies, and leading the orchestra on international tours.

Blomstedt was music director of the San Francisco Symphony from 1985 to 1995. He led the orchestra on regular tours of Europe and Asia, and made numerous prize-winning recordings for London/Decca, winning two Grammy Awards, a Gramophone Award and a Grand Prix du Disque, as well as awards from Belgium, Germany and Japan. After leaving San Francisco full-time, Blomstedt held principal conductorships with the North German Radio Symphony (1996–1998) and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (1998–2005).

Blomstedt is currently Conductor Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony and Honorary Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.


  1. ^ Stevenson, Joseph (1927-07-11). "Herbert Blomstedt - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 

External links

  • Herbert Blomstedt at AllMusic
  • Herbert Blomstedt biography at the San Francisco Symphony
  • Herbert Blomstedt - a perspective as of 1998 (includes discography, quotes and concert schedules)
  • Bamberg Symphony Honorary Conductor
  • Danish Radio Symphony Honorary Conductor
  • NHK Symphony Honorary Conductor
  • Swedish Radio Symphony Honorary Conductor
  • CAMI Artist Page
  • DECCA Artist Page
  • Interview with Herbert Blomstedt by Bruce Duffie, January 8, 1988
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Heinz Freudenthal
Principal Conductor, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Everett Lee
Preceded by
Fritz Busch
Chief Conductor, Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Lamberto Gardelli
Preceded by
Sergiu Celibidache
Principal Conductor, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Preceded by
John Eliot Gardiner
Principal Conductor, North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Christoph Eschenbach
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