Daniel Barenboim leaves management of Berlin Opera for health reasons

aged 80 years, the one who is one of the greatest musicians of the XXᵉ century had announced, in October 2022, being suffering from a “serious neurological disease”.


The pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, suffering from a neurological disease, announced, Friday, January 6, his resignation for health reasons of the Berlin staatsoper, which he had been running for thirty years.

“Unfortunately, my state of health has clearly deteriorated in last year. I can no longer provide the services that is rightly required from a musical director,” says the Maestro Israélo- Argentinian in a press release, specifying that he would cease his professional activity on January 31.

aged 80 years, the one who is one of the greatest musicians in the 20th century century had announced, in October, to be suffering from a “serious neurological disease” and already had to observe a long Break in 2022. He returned to the desk to direct the ninth symphony of Beethoven, during two New Year’s concerts, in Berlin, on December 31 and 1 er January, in a staatsoper full to crack who had reserved an ovation.

a phenomenon at 11 years old

Daniel Barenboim has been at the head of the Berlin State Opera and its orchestra, the Staatskapelle, for three decades. His contract was running until 2027. “These years have given us wings in all respects, both musical and human. Over the years, we have become a musical family and we will remain so,” said He in his press release, by expressing his “admiration for singers, members of the choir and all the other employees of the National Opera”. “It goes without saying that I will remain – as long as I live – very closely linked to music and that I am ready to continue directing, also and above all the Staatskapelle Berlin”, he concludes.

“It is with great respect that Daniel Barenboim takes this stage in the spirit of the institution and leaves his duties, reacted Matthias Schulz, intendant of the Berlin Opera. We can only imagine What point this decision must have been difficult [for him]. “

Born in Argentina, Mr. Barenboim started on the international scene as a pianist at the age of 10, before becoming a leading conductor. “At 11, Daniel Barenboim is already a phenomenon,” wrote German chief Wilhelm Furtwängler. His recordings of the five Beethoven piano concertos or even the full of Mozart piano concertos will do the date.

“Messenger of peace”

With Jacqueline du Pré, the British cellist who was her first wife – until 1987, when she died, at 42, from a multiple sclerosis -, he will form one of the most beautiful musical duos of the century. Chaining the recordings, he directs the Paris Orchestra (1975-1989) for fourteen years. Appointed artistic and musical director of the new opera-be-to-be, he is dismissed by Pierre Bergé six months before the opening.

The chef then began a career in the United States at the head of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1991-2006), in parallel with the management of the prestigious Berlin staatsoper. He will become “chef for life” of his orchestra, the Staatskapelle. He will also be a faithful of the Bayreuth festival (Germany), an annual event founded by Richard Wagner and devoted to the latter’s work, as part of which he will lead many times, arousing criticism in Israel.

His status as a maestro earned him, in 2019, to be taxed by authoritarianism on the part of ex-collaborators of the Berlin Opera. Holder of the Israeli, Argentinian, Spanish and Palestinian passports (since 2008), Daniel Barenboim did not hesitate to put his notoriety at the service of his convictions. Among other things, he created a foundation and an orchestra responsible for promoting cooperation between the young musicians of Israel and the Arab countries. Appointed “Messager of Peace” of the UN in 2007, he directed a historic concert in Gaza in 2011.

/Media reports cited above.