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Daniel Barenboim resigns as General Music Director of the Berlin State Opera


At the turn of the year he made his comeback at the conductor's desk of the Berlin State Opera - while sitting. Now Daniel Barenboim has to admit that he can no longer work as general music director.

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Conductor Barenboim: resignation from the office of General Director


Maurizio Gambarini / Funke Photo Services / IMAGO

Daniel Barenboim, who has been ill for a long time, resigns as general music director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden.

The 80-year-old announced this on Friday in Berlin.

»Unfortunately, my health has deteriorated significantly in the last year.

I can no longer provide the performance that is rightly demanded of a general music director," Barenboim said in a statement.

"Therefore, I ask for your understanding that I will give up this activity on January 31, 2023." He asked Senator for Culture Klaus Lederer to terminate the contract at the specified date.

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Barenboim 2021: »The state of health has deteriorated significantly«

Photo: Thomas Bartilla / Future Image / IMAGO

In a statement, Lederer said he was “convinced that Daniel Barenboim made the right decision”.

The decision put the well-being of the State Opera and the Staatskapelle in the foreground.

"All of this deserves the greatest respect."

In addition to the respect, he also feels “a good deal of regret”.

Barenboim is an artist of the century and "one of the most remarkable personalities working in Berlin," according to the Senator for Culture.

»Principal conductor for life«

Daniel Barenboim canceled several appearances in 2022 due to a serious neurological illness.

But on New Year's Eve, Barenboim conducted again at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin - albeit sitting down.

On New Year's Day 2023 he was on the podium in Beethoven's ninth - a tradition at the turn of the year.

The 80-year-old has been general music director of the Berlin State Opera for over 30 years and has been "chief conductor for life" for the Staatskapelle for over 20 years.

Barenboim announced at the beginning of October that he now had to concentrate as much as possible on his physical well-being.

In February he had already had to undergo surgery on his spine.

Previously, allegations had been made against him of harassment and abusive behavior in dealing with his employees.

Barenboim denied the allegations.

The Argentine-Israeli musician Barenboim is considered one of the most famous classical artists worldwide.

After stints in London, Paris and Chicago, he took over the management of the State Opera after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1992.

Editor's note: In a first draft of this article, we wrote in the opening credits that Daniel Barenboim made his comeback at the New Year's Concert.

However, he was already conducting again on New Year's Eve.

We corrected the passage.


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2023-01-06

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