25 November 2022 |
Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt, age 95, was honored this month by the prime minister of Saxony for his artistic life’s work. The award bestowed upon him was the Great Cross of Merit with Star of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
In the article by EUDNews, the prime minister of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, presented the award and paid tribute to Blomstedt with the words: “Maestro Blomstedt, we are all full of admiration for your vitality and mental elasticity, for your strength without doggedness,” reported Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk in its TV programme MDR-Aktuell. In a statement distributed in advance, Kretschmer described Blomstedt as a “bridge builder in the best sense of the word.”
The article continues with some background about his beliefs and biography:
Blomstedt was born, to an Adventist pastor couple, on July 11, 1927, in the USA, but moved with his parents to their native Sweden at the age of two. Asked about his weekly day of rest, the conductor explained why he does not rehearse on the Sabbath (Saturday) but does perform with the orchestras: “I thought of my father [who was a pastor]: He prepared his sermon very thoroughly during the week. On Fridays, at sunset, he would close his books and spend time with the family; but on the Sabbath he would preach the sermon. I love to rehearse, to work with the orchestra. But on Sabbath we don’t practise anymore – we just play what we have rehearsed together. And that is a blessing for all of us,” says Blomstedt.
Blomstedt’s contributions to Austro-Germanic and Scandinavian music have gained much recognition and he has received many other awards as well, including the Rheingau Music Prize in August of this year, according to The Violin Channel. The Rheingau selection jury commented that, “With his unpretentious as well as modest manner, he is one of the most successful and popular conductors of our time.”