Full speed ahead for Haitink

Posted on: March 2, 2009

“Bernard Haitink hates birthdays. Especially his own,” writes John von Rhein in Sunday’s (3/1) Chicago Tribune. “In fact, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s principal conductor will be treating Wednesday, when he turns 80, just like any other day. Haitink will begin his ninth decade in his native Amsterdam, rehearsing and conducting Beethoven and Bruckner with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the great ensemble most indelibly associated with him during his 55-year career. … Haitink shows no signs of slowing down. CSO musicians report that the vigor he displayed on the podium during the orchestra’s recent Far East tour was undimmed from Yokohama to Beijing. You can hear it in his warm and luminous recording of the Mahler First Symphony, a May 2008 concert performance to be released next week on the CSO Resound label. … Meanwhile, Haitink’s Chicago docket is very full, including a three-week residency in April and May, with a tour to New York’s Carnegie Hall; his final European tour as principal conductor in the fall; two subscription weeks in November; and a Beethoven symphony cycle to conclude his tenure in June 2010.”