Speculation: Who should be the Berlin Phil’s next principal conductor?

Posted on: March 13, 2015

“On 11 May, the first round of secret voting will take place among the 124 members of the Berlin Philharmonic over who becomes their next principal conductor” when Simon Rattle leaves in 2018 to become  music director of the London Symphony Orchestra, writes Tom Service in Tuesday’s (3/10) Guardian (London). “There are plenty of younger candidates who don’t quite have the experience but who do have the requisite glamour, but they also all have pretty big jobs just now…. The middle generation of conductors in their 40s and 50s who have the right balance of energy, experience an ambition have largely been bypassed in the Berlin Phil’s thinking … where enthusiastic youth and super-maturity seem to be the only recognized states of being for a great conductor.” Service ranks nine likely conductor candidates: Christian Thielemann, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gustavo Dudamel, Mariss Jansons, Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Chailly, Riccardo Muti, and Kirill Petrenko. He also names four outside possibilities: Semyon Bychkov, Daniel Harding, Paavo Järvi, and Vladimir Jurowski. “But here’s a thought. Why does the Berlin Philharmonic need a principal conductor? … The Berliners could run themselves as probably no other orchestra in the world could, without losing their essential musical identity.”

Posted March 13, 2015