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Sergiu Celibidache

Biography

Born: June 28, 1912; Roman, Romania   Died: August 14, 1996; Paris, France  
Romanian-born conductor Sergiu Celibidache spent his early life in Jasí, capital of Moldavia, and in 1936 commenced music studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. At age 33, after winning a conducting competition organized by Berlin Radio, he became conductor of the reconstituted postwar Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and toured with it to the British and American sectors of occupied Germany. In 1952 he shared the podium with the exiled Read more Furtwängler, the Berlin Philharmonic's general music director, on a tour of the United States. Later that year when Furtwängler was cleared of allegations of being a Nazi sympathizer and he returned to Germany, Celibidache's appointment with the Berlin PO was terminated.

Thereafter, the larger part of his career was with the radio orchestras of Stockholm (1964-1971), Stuttgart (1971-1977), and Paris (1973-1975). From 1979 until his death, he was music director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and general music director of the City of Munich. Between 1983 and 1984, he conducted the student orchestra at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.

When a music student in Berlin, Celibidache also attended Berlin University where he studied philosophy and formed the Buddhist beliefs he retained throughout his life. He preferred the immediacy of a live performance rather than recordings and, according to his son, felt that recordings prevented the listener's spontaneous involvement with the music and gave a distorted representation of reality. Thus, though widely admired as an outstanding conductor, many of Celibidache's recordings were unauthorized, and some were of poor sound quality. It was not until after his death that, with the cooperation of his family, EMI Classics and Deutsche Grammophon released a substantial number of recordings, mainly of broadcast performances with the Stuttgart and Munich orchestras, but also with the Mannheim Philharmonic and London Philharmonic Orchestra. The repertoire is almost entirely Romantic and post-Romantic, including Beethoven, Bruckner, Brahms, Richard Strauss, Debussy, Ravel, Tchaikowsky, Respighi, and Berlioz.

It is perhaps ironic that Celibidache should have received his widest exposure through a medium he did not approve. Yet his intense, finely balanced and deeply felt interpretations made him one of the greatest names in twentieth century orchestral conducting. Above all, he was a superb technician. Celibidache could not have asked for a better memorial than the current library of recordings, especially those in The Celibidache Edition, which includes lengthy rehearsal recordings (one lasts for 45 minutes, complete with English translations). Deutsche Grammophon's selection is mainly from earlier recordings made with the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra. Proceeds from both labels are given to the Celibidache Foundation for the encouragement of young musicians and a humanitarian organization he set up to assist needy people in Tibet, Romania, and other parts of the world. His own compositions include four symphonies, a piano concerto, and an orchestral suite which he recorded for UNICEF with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 78 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Incomparable Celibidache [5-DVD Set]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1152 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Hector Berlioz,  Luigi Cherubini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 2.
    Darius Milhaud - Une Vie Heureuse [10-CD Set]
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 634844 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Darius Milhaud
    Performer:  Michel Béroff,  Jean-Philippe Collard,  Noel Lee,  Christian Ivaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Georges Prêtre,  Georges Tzipine,  Darius Milhaud  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 3.
    Sergiu Celibidache In Caracas, 1956
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 543 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Judith James,  Albert Ferber
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    CD: $14.99
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  • 4.
    Celibidache Rehearses Bruckner's Ninth [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108089 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 5.
    Celibidache - The Berlin Recordings 1945-1957
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 21423 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Raoul Koczalski
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $58.99
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  • 6.
    Celibidache In St. Florian - Bruckner: Mass In F Minor
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101678 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Performer:  Matthias Hölle,  Doris Soffel,  Margaret Price,  Peter Straka  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 7.
    Liszt: Les Preludes; Ravel: Left-hand Concerto; Brahms: Symphony No 1 / Celibidache
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 788122 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Maurice Ravel,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Robert Casadesus
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 8.
    Brahms: Symphony No. 1
    Label: Vienna Philharmonic (Label)   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 9.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 4 / Celibidache, Munich Philharmonic
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101645 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 7 / Celibidache, Berlin Philharmonic [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2011404 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 11.
    Celibidache Conducts Bruckner [3 DVDs + 2 CDs]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 195270 Release Date: 07/03/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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    DVD: $16.99
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  • 12.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 5 / Celibidache, Munich Philharmonic
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101639 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 7 / Celibidache, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2011408 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Sergiu Celibidache / Celibidache, Munchner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059118 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 15.
    Koczalski Plays Chopin: Broadcast Recordings From German Radio 1945 & 1948
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1261 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Raoul von Koczalski
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 16.
    Schumann, Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos / Barenboim, Celibidache
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2066588 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 17.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies, Alto Rhapsody / Celibidache
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9053 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Marga Höffgen
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 18.
    Celibidache  Vol  2 - Bruckner / Munich Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 85578 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Karl Helm,  Christel Borchers,  Claes-Håkan Ahnsjö  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Bach Choir,  Munich Philharmonic Choir
    On sale! $107.98
    CD: $82.49
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  • 19.
    Celibidache  Vol  3 - French & Russian Music / Munich Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 85606 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Darius Milhaud
    Performer:  Peter Sadlo,  János Starker,  Eric Le Sage,  Emmanuel Pahud  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache,  Leonard Bernstein,  Walter Susskind,  John Alldis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $87.98
    CD: $75.99
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  • 20.
    Celibidache  Vol 4 - Sacred Music & Opera / Munich Phiharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 85617 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Scharinger,  Yaron Windmuller,  Peter Schreier,  Barbara Bonney  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Choir,  Munich Bach Choir
    On sale! $87.98
    CD: $59.99
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  • 21.
    Celibidache Vol 1 - Symphonies / Munich Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 85566 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Helen Donath,  Doris Soffel,  Peter Lika
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Choir
    CD: $95.99
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  • 22.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 / Barenboim, Celibidache, Munich PO
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2066688 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Sergiu Celibidache In Rehearsal & Performance - Dvorak, Prokofiev
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2066558 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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    DVD: $24.99
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  • 24.
    Milhaud: La Creation Du Monde; Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit; Saudades Do Brasil; Suite Francaise
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94688 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Darius Milhaud
    Performer:  Peter Sadlo,  János Starker,  Emmanuel Pahud,  Eric Le Sage  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Sergiu Celibidache,  Walter Susskind,  John Alldis  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 25.
    Celibidache - The Complete Rias Recordings
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 21406 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Ferruccio Busoni,  Luigi Cherubini,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Performer:  Gerhard Puchelt,  Siegfried Borries,  Gustav Scheck
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    CD: $29.99
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