Daniel Barenboim biography
part 3: 1954-1955
based on Barenboim's A
Life in Music
Article added on January
In the summer of 1954, Barenboim's parents decided that their son should go to
Salzburg to study conducting with Markevich, who wanted Daniel to stop playing
the piano and concentrate on conducting only (at the age of eleven). Luckily,
Barenboim's father successfully resisted Markevich's pressure.
As the only child of the group, Barenboim had a hard time since his fellow
students were conductors already and not very much interested in him, with the
exception of Herbert Blomstedt who always took the time to explain things to
Daniel, who only spoke poor English and only the German he had picked up as a
nine-year-old in Vienna and Salzburg. By the way, Markevich's assistant was
Daniel was also handicapped by the fact that Ben-Haim had simplified things
too much in his theoretical teachings in Israel. These errors were finally
resolved in the winter of 1955 when Barenboim studied with Nadia Boulanger.
In the summer of 1954, Daniel met Wilhelm Furtwängler in Salzburg.
impressed by the boy's piano playing and wrote what became Barenboim's letter
of introduction for the next twenty years: "The eleven-year-old Barenboim
is a phenomenon...". Furtwängler also invited Daniel to play with the
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, but Barenboim's father declined; Barenboim
thinks that his father felt that it was to soon after the Holocaust for a
Jewish family to travel from Israel to Germany. In Salzburg, Daniel attended
several rehearsals by Furtwängler. His methods were almost exactly the
opposite of what Barenboim was taught in class every day, e.g. Furtwängler's
way of conducting was very intuitive as far as gesture was concerned.
Unfortunately, the conductor died in November 1954. After his death, Barenboim
went to his house in Switzerland where his wife let him look at his scores.
Barenboim remembers that most of the markings had to do with balance and the
relative strengths of the dynamics. He realized how much Furtwängler's
"intuitive" conducting was, in fact, thought out. According to
Barenboim, Furtwängler was able to give the Berlin Philharmonic something
which continues to be transmitted from one generation to the next.
here for Part 1 of Barenboims' biography; Part
2 of Barenboims' biography; Part
4: 1955-56 & Arthur Rubinstein.
Daniel Barenboim: A Life in Music. Weidenfeld & Nicholson,
September 2002, 246 p. Get the English edition of the autobiography from Amazon.co.uk,
(another edition?), Amazon.fr,
Deutsche Ausgabe Die Musik, mein Leben. Autobiografie bestellen bei Amazon.de. A Life in Music is not an autobiography in the strict sense. Barenboim
does not refer to private or personal matters. The book is not simply a revised
edition, updated ten years later, as Barenboim has added six new chapters.
Barenboim, Celibidache, Münchner Philharmoniker: Schumann Piano Concerto,
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. Order the CD from Amazon.com,
Daniel Barenboim: Albéniz Iberia Book 1 & 2, España.
Order the CD from Amazon.com,