Adventist Musician Receives an Award from the Swedish King
12 June 2012 Stockholm, Sweden [Rainer Refsbäck, tedNEWS] Herbert Blomstedt has been awarded the ‘Seraphim Medal’ by the royal house in his home country Sweden. It was thought that he would receive it from His Majesty's hand on Friday, June 15, but the King will have to wait, because Herbert Blomstedt is, despite being 85 years old, a busy world conductor. The medal he is receiving is a recognition "for exceedingly outstanding contributions to Swedish musical life and culture" according to the release at kungahuset.se. Seraphim is the highest honour one can receive from the royal house and it is being awarded very sparingly.
Herbert Blomstedt says to the Swedish Union church paper: "I am of course delighted, but I have become used to not pay much attention to such corruptible things as my old colleague Eugen Jochum in Munich would say: 'It ends up in the metal container', however this time it is pure gold."
Unfortunately, Herbert cannot attend the medal ceremony at the Royal Palace on June 15. Although he will soon be 85 years of age he is still very active as a conductor in the world and cannot come to Sweden until the end of August. On 1 September, Herbert will conduct the concluding concert at the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm.
Dr Bertil Wiklander, President of the Trans-European Division, has known Herbert since childhood and remarks: "This is an outstanding recognition of the genius of the artist Herbert Blomstedt and his services to Swedish culture and music. But we who know Herbert personally also know how he has always seen his music as a way to bring glory to God and as a witness to the grace and majesty of our Creator. Numerous times, he has had the opportunity of publicly confessing his faith in the Word of God, as a Seventh-day Adventist, in circumstances where we seldom have any voice. He has more than once testified to how the secret of his success is his Christian faith, and, in particular, the blessing of the Sabbath which has brought him rest and recreation in a life of work that often has destroyed the health of his colleagues. I am thankful to God that his life and contributions have been recognised in this way."
The Seraphim Medal should not be confused with the ‘Order of Seraphim’ which is only given to government heads and members of the royal family. The Seraphim Medal was established in 1748. The medal belongs to the Order of Seraphim, but after 1974 the award was placed directly at the King's disposal. It is awarded a person who has made him or herself exceedingly merited by humanitarian actions or general social benefits. King Carl XVI Gustaf has only awarded the Seraphim Medal to twelve persons since 1973. The last time, in 2008, it was awarded the professor and UN diplomat, Sture Linner. Prior to that, in 2004, it was awarded to the jurist and public official, Hans Blix.
Herbert Blomstedt, the son of pastor Adolf Blomstedt, well-known to many Seventh-day Adventists in Sweden, is Sweden’s most successful conductor in the world. He made his first performance in 1954 as conductor of the Royal Philharmonic, and over the years he has been the Chief Conductor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, the Danish and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestras, Dresdner Staatskapelle, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and has conducted many other orchestras in Europe as well as across the world. Over the years, Herbert Blomstedt has generously contributed both to the music scene and the area of education within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sweden and in the world. Earlier this year, he received a special award for these efforts at Loma Linda University. [tedNEWS]
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