Eschenbach to Philadelphia

The riddle about who is to succeed Wolfgang Sawallisch as Music Director at the Philadelphia Orchestra has been resolved. Yesterday (1/9), the world famous orchestra named a successor who, like Sawallisch, is German. Christoph Eschenbach, currently Chief Conductor at the NDR radio orchestra in Hamburg, will take the position in Philadelphia in the fall of 2003. Sawallisch, who is 77, had made known a while ago that he would like to retire, but he was willing to wait until a suitable successor would be found. The suspense in Philadelphia grew as rumors about other, famous candidates for the musical leadership were spread, among them Christian Thielemann, Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, and Vladimir Ashkenazy. On the other hand, the Philadelphia Orchestra was not the only American orchestra interested in Eschenbach, as Kurt Masur is leaving the New York Philharmonic as Music Director in 2002, the same year when Music Director Seiji Ozawa is retiring from the Boston Symphony. Georg Hirsch reports.

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