Nov. 20, 2022, 2:05 p.m
Silvia Kaduff is a pioneer. She was Germany’s first female general director of music and the first female conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic after 1945. She was the first female conductor of an orchestra in Germany, and thus paved the way for others to succeed her on the podium. What is taken for granted today was still a sensation in the music world at the time. This year she celebrates her eighty-fifth birthday.
Silvia Kaduff was born in 1937 in Chur, Switzerland. She took piano lessons from an early age. When she was 13, she heard her first orchestral concert at the Lucerne Festival, and the program included Anton Bruckner’s “Sixth Symphony” conducted by Rafael Kubelik. “It turned into me and about me,” recalls Sylvia Kadoff. “I was really touched that someone could make something tangible and tangible out of music.” She took a course with Herbert von Karajan, studied piano and music theory in Lucerne and began a three-year apprenticeship with Karajan in Berlin in 1962. In 1966 she won a conducting competition in New York and was thus able to work as an assistant to Leonard Bernstein, conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since 1967 she has been a conductor in Zurich, London and many other cities. From 1972 to 1976 she was a professor at the Berne Conservatory. From 1977 to 1986 Silvia Kaduff was general music director at Solingen, and in 1978 she made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic. “It was hard work living as a conductor alongside outstanding men,” says Sylvia Kadoff. “Music may have cost me my own life. But I don’t regret it. Music is a great partner.”
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