The relationship which has grown up between Herbert Blomstedt and the Bamberg Symphony is a very special one – a friendship based on deep mutual trust and great respect. He first heard ‘the Bambergers’ more than fifty years ago. Over three decades, he has regularly conducted them on the international stage. In November 2012, the Orchestra won great acclaim for its first joint tour of Japan with its Honorary Conductor.
In the 1950s, the Bamberg Symphony gave a concert in Stockholm under Joseph Keilberth. In the audience was a promising young conductor, just beginning to win his spurs: Herbert Blomstedt. Years later, in 1982, by now a mature musician and Principal Conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle, he first mounted the podium at the head of the ‘the Bambergers’, laying the foundation for a close artistic partnership which has lasted for thirty years.
During that time, they have given more than 120 concerts together throughout Europe. In November 2012, they undertook their first joint tour of Japan: eight concerts in seven cities, an extended visit culminating in two appearances at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. Herbert Blomstedt is a veteran visitor to the country, with four decades of experience and a high profile on Japanese television. After the tour, he was full of praise for the Bavarian State Philharmonic’s performances: ‘Simply magnificent,’ was his verdict. ‘Before we left Bamberg, the Orchestra was already reaching an extremely high standard – and then surpassed itself. The atmosphere was always at fever-pitch.’
His words reaffirm and reinforce the musical partnership which over the years has bound everyone involved in the tour so closely. Characterizing the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra’s aesthetic, Herbert Blomstedt continued, ‘Not only was the playing on a high plane of technical perfection, it also had great serenity, naturalness and freshness, traits which are all too rare today.’ The feeling is completely mutual: in 2006 the Orchestra granted Blomstedt the title of Honorary Conductor. In November 2010 the Association of Friends of the Bamberg Symphony awarded him its 'Goldene Ehrennadel'. In his speech at the ceremony, Thomas Goppel, former Bavarian Minister for Science and the Arts, emphasized the qualities which set Herbert Blomstedt apart and make the 85-year-old conductor so beloved in the cathedral city: ‘his complete lack of vanity, his total integrity, his respect for the composer’s intentions, his humility as a musician, and his deep, genuine spirituality.’
Herbert Blomstedt received several Honorary Doctorates and is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Music Academy. In fall 2003 he was awarded the "Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz" by the German Federal President Johannes Rau.
Concerts in Bamberg
Ludwig van Beethoven: Concert for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 G-Major op. 58
Wilhelm Stenhammar: Symphony No. 2 g-Minor op. 34
Till Fellner, Piano
Concerts in Bamberg
Richard Wagner: Vorspiel und Liebestod aus »Tristan und Isolde«Ingvar Lidholm: PoesisAntonín Dvorák: Symphony No. 8