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Musical World

Herbert Blomstedt

  • Conductor


Herbert Blomstedt: The prominent American-born Swedish conductor, Herbert (Thorson) Blomstedt, was born of Swedish parents, and moved with his family to Sweden in 1929. He took courses at the Stockholm Musikhögskolan and at the University of Uppsala. After conducting lessons with Igor Markevitch in Paris, he continued his training with Jean Morel at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and with Leonard Bernstein at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, where he won the Koussevitzky Prize in 1953. He also studied contemporary music in Darmstadt and renaissance and baroque music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, and worked with Igor Markevitch in Salzburg.

In February 1954 Herbert Blomstedt made his professional conducting debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, then was music director of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra from 1954 to 1961. He subsequently held the post of first conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic from 1962 to 1968 while being concurrently active as a conductor with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Copenhagen, where he served as chief conductor from 1967 to 1977. From 1975 to 1985 he was chief conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle, with which he toured over twenty European countries, the USA (1979, 1983), and Japan. From 1977 to 1983 he was chief conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm.

Herbert Blomstedt also appeared as a guest conductor with principal orchestras of the world. As guest conductor, he has performed with orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Münchner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as well as NHK Symphony, of which he is Honorary Conductor.