Klaus Lederer, Berlin’s senator for culture, called Barenboim “an artist of the century and probably the most remarkable personalities working in Berlin.” He said in an announcement that stepping down was the appropriate selection, despite the fact that it was challenging for Barenboim.
“His decision was made in a reflective manner; it puts the well-being of the State Opera and the Staatskapelle Berlin within the foreground,” Lederer said. “All of this deserves the best respect.”
During his tenure in Berlin, Barenboim brought the Staatskapelle to recent heights, incessantly leading international tours and securing a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of euros in government grants to finance his ambitions. He co-founded a music conservatory, the Barenboim-Said Akademie, which opened in 2016. He persuaded officials to construct the Pierre Boulez Saal, a Frank Gehry-designed hall housed in the identical constructing because the conservatory, which opened in 2017. And he pushed a costly renovation of the opera house’s principal theater, which was finished that very same 12 months. The State Opera now has 587 employees and a budget of greater than 81.4 million euros ($86.6 million).
There have been troubles along the way in which, but Barenboim maintained his grip on power. In 2019, members of the Staatskapelle accused him of bullying; later that 12 months, though, the opera house, saying that it couldn’t confirm the accusations, prolonged his contract through 2027.
He seemed set to reign indefinitely in Berlin, but health woes forced him to cancel performances last spring and summer as he recovered from surgery and grappled with circulatory issues. In October, having disclosed his neurological condition, he said he was taking break day to “give attention to my physical well-being as much as possible.” He canceled his participation in the brand new “Ring,” a herculean undertaking seven years within the making that had been built around him, in addition to a planned tour in Asia with the Staatskapelle and a concert in Berlin in November to rejoice his eightieth birthday.
As he rested at home, he initially resisted resigning his post and told family and friends that he planned to return to the rostrum. But whilst he kept up some appearances, attending rehearsals and teaching classes in Berlin, his ability to guide the opera house full time grew increasingly uncertain.