Daniel Barenboim left the direction of the Berlin Opera for health reasons
Pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, who suffers from a nervous illness, announced on Friday 6 January his retirement for health reasons from the Staatsoper Berlin, which he had directed for thirty years.
“Unfortunately, my health condition has been getting worse over the last year. I can no longer provide the service a music director properly demands”the Israeli-Argentine maestro confided in a press release, mentioning that he would stop his professional activities on January 31.
80 years old, who is one of the greatest musicians of the XXe century has announced, in October, will be affected by a “serious neurological disease” and has had to take a long break in 2022. He’s back in the table to lead Ninth Symphony by Beethoven, during two New Year’s concerts, in Berlin, on December 31 and 1uh January, at a packed Staatsoper that brought him a standing ovation.
A phenomenon at the age of 11 years
Daniel Barenboim has conducted the Berlin State Opera and its orchestra, the Staatskapelle, for three decades. His contract runs until 2027. “These years have given us wings from all perspectives, both musically and humanly. Over the years, we have been a musical family and we will remain that way.”he said in his press release, revealing his “admiration for the singers, choir members, and all other National Opera collaborators”. “It goes without saying that I will remain – as long as I live – very close to music and I am ready to continue directing, also and above all, Staatskapelle Berlin”he concluded.
“It is with great respect that Daniel Barenboim is taking this step in the spirit of the institution and is leaving his post.reaction of Matthias Schulz, nominee of the Berlin Opera. One can only imagine how difficult that decision must have been. [pour lui]. »
Born in Argentina, Barenboim began his international career as a pianist at the age of 10, before becoming a prominent conductor. “At 11 years old, Daniel Barenboim is already a phenomenon”, wrote German chef Wilhelm Furtwängler at the time. His recording of Beethoven’s five piano concertos and Mozart’s complete piano concerto are landmarks.
“Emissary of Peace”
With Jacqueline du Pré, the British cellist who was his first wife – until 1987, when he died at age 42 of multiple sclerosis – he would form one of the finest musical duos of this century. Chaining records, he conducted for fourteen years the Orchester de Paris (1975-1989). Appointed artistic and musical director of the new Opera-Bastille, he was fired by Pierre Bergé six months before opening.
The conductor then began a career in the United States as head of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1991-2006), alongside the prestigious Staatsoper direction in Berlin. He will be “lifelong leader” the orchestra, Staatskapelle. He will also be a regular at the Bayreuth Festival (Germany), an annual event founded by Richard Wagner and dedicated to the latter work, within the framework of which he will perform many times, causing criticism in Israel.
His status as a maestro led him, in 2019, to be accused of authoritarianism by a former Berlin Opera collaborator. Holder of Israeli, Argentinian, Spanish and Palestinian passports (since 2008), Daniel Barenboim has not hesitated to put his fame for the sake of his faith. Among other things, he founded foundations and orchestras to promote cooperation between young musicians from Israel and Arab countries. Appointed “messenger of peace” United Nations in 2007, he gave a historic concert in Gaza in 2011.