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Nikolaus Harnoncourt's 80th birthday


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Yesterday was the 80th birthday of one of Europe’s most distinguished conductors, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Count Nikolaus de la Fontaine und d'Harnoncourt-Unverzagt)

He moved from being a cellist in the in the Vienna Symphony Orchestra to found the Concentus Musica Wien (1953) creating an historic path in the revival of playing early music on period instruments and contributing significantly to reading of old scores.

He moved in to early opera and his cycle of Monteverdi operas in Zurich bringing his historic understanding of early operas to the world. This was followed by his revelatory cycle of Mozart operas.

Maestro Harnoncourt has not slowed down in his workload which has broadened to include not only 17th, 18th century music but 19th and 20th century music as well?

He remains not just a Grand Old Man of Music but a Great Old Man of Music.

Happy Birthday Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

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Maestro Harnoncourt has not slowed down in his workload which has broadened to include not only 17th, 18th century music but 19th and 20th century music as well?
I have to admit that, the older I get, the more encouragement I get from stories like this.

I checked his website and was astonished to find that, among the works of Hayden, Handel, Purcell, and Mozart schduled for the next couple of months was Franz Schmidt's Book with Seven Seals ("Buch mit Sieben Siegein"). That's one BIG (and LONG) 20th-century choral work! I got exhausted just sitting in my seat and listening on the one occasion I heard this piece performed.

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