Herbert Blomstedt, at 95 the oldest conductor still active on the international circuit, looks back on a career of nearly 70 years, on being one of the last living ear-witnesses to podium “demigods” of the past such as Arturo Toscanini and Wilhelm Furtwängler, on his selectivity in choosing what to conduct, and on his aversion to interpretative exaggeration.
“Many of my colleagues have the ambition and the desire to play everything, because they think otherwise they wouldn’t be a ‘complete’ conductor. [They play] a little bit from every style. That’s understandable, but it’s not my goal. I play what I find most deep,” he tells VAN magazine’s Harmut Welscher:
Holding the Center