Christian Thielemann Became Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music

Designated Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival Recieves Honour in a Ceremony in London.

Christian Thielemann, from 2013 Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival, received the honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music, London, in a ceremony on 14 October 2011. Distinguished broadcaster and journalist James Jolly presented Maestro Thielemann's citation, speaking about the importance of tradition in his career, and his time working with Herbert von Karajan.

Mr Jolly said: "If a particular country can claim to have shaped the music of a given century, then Germany's influence over the development of music in the 19th century is immense. Flanked at one end by Beethoven and Weber, and Richard Strauss, Brahms and Wagner at the other, this was the century that shaped the symphony and gave us German opera, re-energised in the shape of Wagner. And this is the music at which Christian Thielemann excels. He is Germany's leading exponent of a repertoire and style that can trace its roots back through Herbert von Karajan and Wilhelm Furtwängler to the approach first exemplified and, recorded, by Artur Nikisch."

In his speech of thanks, Christian Thielemann pointed out that "traditions are important - they make us much more open and much more conscious about why our life today is the way it is. Obviously we all have a past, which can be nice or not so nice, but what brings us together is usually something that does not require many words - music-making, for instance. [...] Communication, too, is important. You might say at rehearsal - 'too loud, too soft, whatever, too loud, too long', but what makes the piece really interesting is the non-verbal communication. People have been brought together who sometimes don't even speak the same language - French, German, Portuguese. But then we speak one language - music - and it's the most wonderful thing that can happen."
After his speech, Maestro Thielemann conducted the Academy Concert Orchestra in a stirring rendition of Strauss' Don Juan.

The full text of eulogy and speech of thanks can be found on the website of the Royal Academy of Music, London.

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