Daniel Barenboim is leaving the Berlin Staatsoper after 30 years

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Opinion

BERLIN – Daniel Barenboim announced Friday that he was stepping down as general music director of Berlin’s Staatsoper, a job he has held for more than three decades, saying his health has become too poor for him. keep going.

The famous conductor and pianist, who turned 80 in November, has held the position since 1992. In a statement issued by the Staatsoper, he said he will retire on January 31.

“Unfortunately, my health has declined significantly in the past year,” he said. “I can no longer deliver the performance that is properly demanded of a general music director.”

Barenboim said his years at the opera house on Berlin’s Unter den Linden boulevard “inspired us in every way musically and humanly.” And he said he was particularly “pleased and proud” that the Staatskapelle orchestra, based at the Staatsoper, made him its chief conductor for life.

“We became a musical family over the years and will continue to be one,” said Barenboim. He said he is still ready to carry it in the future.

In October, Barenboim announced that he was “taking a step back” from some of his acting activities for several months after being diagnosed with a “severe neurological condition.” “

He returned on Saturday, performing a New Year’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in his seat, to great applause from the audience.

In 2019, Barenboim received a five-year contract extension that would keep him at the opera house until 2027.

German culture minister Claudia Roth said Barenboim’s time at the head of the Staatsoper was “a godsend for Berlin and Germany, as he led the opera house and the Staatskapelle to worldwide fame after the fall of the Wall.” The opera is set in communist East Berlin until 1990.

“I am very sorry for his retirement, I wish him a speedy recovery and I look forward to hopefully many more concerts and opera performances with him,” Roth said in a statement.

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