Biography of Sergiu Celibidache (1912-1996)

Conductor and musicologist Romanian, naturalized German, Roman-born on July 11, 1912 and died in Paris in 1996. He grew up in the Moldovan city of Iassy and received his first lessons of piano at an early age. It was at this time when he began to be interested by musical composition. After studying mathematics and philosophy in Iassy and Bucharest and Paris, in 1936 he traveled to Germany to take composition classes at the Academy of music in Berlin under the supervision of Heinz Thiessen. At the time who continued his musical education, he focused his research on the mechanics of the sound waves

At the University, he became interested in the problems concerning the musicology (under the tutelage of Arnold Schering and Georg Schünemann), as well as by the philosophical principles (their guardians were Nicolai Hartmann and Eduard Spranger). It was in that period that he was attracted by zen Buddhism. Thanks to Martín Steinke, who had a decisive influence in his life, underwent with the limits of thought and focused on discerning in what things should move to music and what not. In Berlin, he got his PhD with a thesis on Josquin des Prez.

From 1939 and until 1945 he studied at the Berlin College of music with the likes of Fritz Stein, Kurt Thomas and Walter Gmeindl teachers. After completing these, he collaborated with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra since the former director, Wilhelm Furtwängler, was suspended for Collaborationism and did not receive permission to carry out public duties. For three years he directed most of the famous Orchestra concerts and proved his exceptional personality. After the return of Furtwängler as Chief, Celibidache worked mainly for a long period of time, as guest conductor, without belonging to any Orchestra in particular since their demands were very difficult to meet, as it was no supporter of making concessions to the musicians or the audience. He continued to work mainly with Berlin orchestras (the Philharmonic and the RIAS Berlin Radio Orchestra). Following the appointment of Von Karajan as Chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1954, Celibidache, by discrepancies in the election, refused to direct, decision which maintained over thirty-seven years. From that moment he was addressing different Italian orchestras (Orchestra and choirs of RAI) and the Orchestra of la Scala. In 1952 he conducted the first hearing of the National Orchestra of Spain.

In 1959, his work continued with regular collaborations with the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra. He also developed an important teaching role and thus, between 1960 and 1962, he taught classes at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana of Siena. At the end of that same year, it was expected that to become director of the Symphony Orchestra of Radio Stockholm, which was going to carry out a work of remodeling which was not completed until 1971. From 1973 to 1975, was the principal guest conductor of the French National Orchestra.

His return to German lands occurred in 1979, when he was elected to the post of artistic director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, which became one of the best in the world. Awarded at the same time the position of general music director of the city. Since then did not return to work with other orchestras, except on exceptional occasions as two charity concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in March 1992. Despite being seriously ill, did not stop handle until the moment of his death.

Celibidache also composed, but refused any interpretation of his compositions. Unlike vinyl records, since he felt that it provided a lower quality version, he agreed in the last years of his life in recording a video or CD. Thus, recorded the sixth, seventh and eighth symphonies of Anton Bruckner, Sergei Prokofievclassical Symphony, and two piano concertos of Johannes Brahms with the piano soloist of Daniel Barenboim.

His appointment as Honorary Professor of the Federal Capital of Berlin and the order of the Bavarian merit award are among the many awards and commendations received. Also "Favorite son" became him his hometown (Iassy), as well as the honorary doctorate from the Academy of the art of Iassy. In his 80th birthday was awarded the great cross of distinction of the order of merit of the German Federal Republic and beloved citizen of the city of Munich was made.

Sergiu Celibidache died on August 14, 1996 in the city of Paris.

Addresses on the Internet

http://www.celibidache.org; Official website of the musician. http://www.celibidache.asso.fr; Official website of the Association Celibidache (in French).