Sergiu Celibidache (O.S. 28 June 1912 – 14 August 1996) was a Romanian conductor, composer, and teacher. Educated in his native Romania, and later in Paris and Berlin, Celibidache’s career in music spanned over five decades, including tenures as principal conductor for the Munich Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and several European orchestras. Later in life, he taught at Mainz University in Germany and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Celibidache frequently refused to release his performances on commercial recordings during his lifetime claiming that a listener could not obtain a “transcendental experience” outside of the concert hall. Many of the recordings of his performances were released posthumously. Nonetheless, he earned international acclaim for celebrated interpretations of classical music repertoire and was known for a spirited performance style informed by his study and experiences in Zen Buddhism.