Born in the United States in 1927 as the son of Swedish parents, Herbert Blomstedt received his first musical education at the Royal Conservatory in Stockholm and at the University of Uppsala. Later, he studied conducting at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, contemporary music in Darmstadt, and Renaissance and baroque music at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, and worked under Igor Markevitch in Salzburg and Leonard Bernstein in Tanglewood.
More than 60 years ago, in February 1954, Herbert Blomstedt gave his debut as a conductor with the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Later, he was the chief conductor of such important Scandinavian orchestras as the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Danish and Swedish radio symphony orchestra, the latter until 1983. From 1975 to 1985 he was chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden, with which he also the USA and Japan He is still a regular guest.
After a series of successful concerts with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Herbert Blomstedt was appointed Music Director of this renowned orchestra in 1985. The concert tours to the musical metropolises of Europe were celebrated both by the public and the press. After ten years, Herbert Blomstedt ended his successful work in San Francisco, but returns as an honorary member every year. From 1996 to 1998 he worked as chief conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg. From 1998 to 2005, Herbert Blomstedt, as the 18th Gewandhauskapellmeister, was the director of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, to which he also remained an honorary member. He has also received five other orchestras: the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan, the Danish and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestras and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, and in May 2016, the Staatskapelle Dresden, which had already honored him with the Golden Badge.
In addition to his commitments to these orchestras, he is one of the most important orchestras in the world, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchester de Paris, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Boston and the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland and the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2011 he made a late debut with the Vienna Philharmonic, which immediately led to a regular collaboration.
An extensive discography is available from Herbert Blomstedt. With the Staatskapelle Dresden he recorded over 130 works, including all symphonies by Beethoven and Schubert; With the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra he played all the orchestral works of Carl Nielsen. In the context of an exclusive contract with DECCA, together with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, numerous award-winning recordings with a reference character, including all symphonies by Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen, were created. In 2014, DECCA released the box "The San Francisco Years", which on 15 CDs represents a representative cross section by Herbert Blomstedt's work in San Francisco.
The collaboration with the Gewandhausorchester was documented by various labels; At DECCA CDs with works by Brahms, Bruckner, Hindemith, Mendelssohn and Strauss. Also deserve special mention are the high degree of Sven-David Sandström with Deutsche Grammophon and Mendelssohn's Elijah with RCA Red Seal. The label cross-published a selection of Leipzig concert recitals from his time as Gewandhauskapellmeister; The complete recording of the symphonies by Anton Bruckner with the Gewandhausorchester was awarded the International Classical Music Award in 2013.
Herbert Blomstedt is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Music Academy and several honorary disciples. In 2003 he received the "Great Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany". In April 2016 he was awarded the prestigious Danish Léonie-Sonning Music Prize for his artistic life.