Daniel Barenboim Steps Down from Staatsoper Unter den Linden

By Francisco Salazar
Daniel Barenboim has announced his resignation from the Staatsoper Unter den Linden as Music Director.

The legendary conductor and pianist said, “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. Therefore, I ask for your understanding that I will give up this job on January 31, 2023. I ask the culture senator to dissolve the contract between us at the specified time.”

He added, “Since 1992 I have been General Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin. The years have inspired us musically and personally in every respect. I believe that the Staatsoper and I were very lucky for each other. What makes me particularly happy and proud is that the Staatskapelle has chosen me as chief conductor for life. We have become a musical family over the years and will remain so. I appreciate all members of the Staatskapelle, including those who have since left. But I also express my admiration for the singers, the members of the choir, and all other employees of the State Opera, especially for my personal assistant Antje Werkmeister.”

He concluded, “I was also particularly pleased that Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble accompanied me so pleasantly. I would also like to thank the Senator for Culture Klaus Lederer, who stood by me even in difficult times. Of course, as long as I live, I will remain closely connected to music and I am willing to work as a conductor in the future, also and especially with the Staatskapelle Berlin.”

Matthias Schultz, General Director of the Berlin house said, “the Staatsoper Unter den Linden owes an infinite debt of gratitude to Daniel Barenboim! For more than 30 years he has let his inexhaustible strength as an artist personality with worldwide charisma benefit this house and his Staatskapelle Berlin. There is great respect that Daniel Barenboim is now taking this step in the interest of the institution and resigning from his duties as General Music Director at the end of this month. One can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Daniel Barenboim to take this step. We all wish Daniel Barenboim all the best for his continued recovery! Daniel Barenboim will always remain connected to this house and the Staatskapelle Berlin.”

The news comes after the conductor returned to the stage on Dec. 31, 2022 to conduct a New Year’s Eve concert. It also comes as he announced back in the fall that he was taking a step back from conducting due to a serious neurological condition.

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