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13 July 2023

We could have ended the 22-23 season with the sad news of Sami Habra’s passing. Let’s close it by announcing a rather rich new season to come, which our friend would not have disavowed.

The Board recently had the pleasure of welcoming the President of the German Furtwängler Society, Helge Grünewald, with whom we will be forging closer links, pooling our resources. Further details will be announced in September.

Mid-September will mark the release of our new digital product, featuring recordings from Stockholm Radio, and in particular Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Stockholm, December 1943). Often neglected, it hides many secrets, revealed at last by the release of high-definition files provided by the Swedish Radio.

We will also be launching our YouTube channel and a “streaming” platform, which will gradually include all our products, even those that are currently out of stock. Here too, more details to come in late August/early September.

We wish you a wonderful summer.

10 July 2023

Andreas Furtwängler (son of Wilhelm and Elisabeth) evokes Sami Habra.

… Yes, I remember well the lectures that Sami organized, where he compared different interpretations, lectures well followed by friends of “Furt.”. When I studied in Paris from 1969 to 1970, I often met him: we sometimes went to lunch together because he worked at the bank of Lebanon and I was nearby, at the National Library. At that time he wore a vest in which he placed huge pocket watches, which he took out from time to time to impress some ladies in restaurants. It was very fun! My daughter Elisabeth stayed at his home in Versailles, he was a family friend, who came a few times to Switzerland and finally to Heidelberg at my mother’s funeral.

5 July 2023

The Sami Habra’s funeral will take place:

On Tuesday 11 July at 11:00 am.
in the church Notre-Dame
35, rue de la Paroisse
F – 78000 Versailles

Rue de la Paroisse (église Notre-Dame)
4 July 2023

We are deeply saddened to announce that Sami Habra passed away yesterday at the age of 88.

As you may know, he was one of the founding members of the SWF, to which he devoted part of his life.

It is hard not to recall the hundreds of lectures he gave over the decades, peppered with anecdotes and ‘bon mots’ – a delight for his listeners.

He was also a significant contributor to the development of our society’s discography.

He was also admired for his extensive musical knowledge, which he was happy to share. He had the opportunity to meet Eugen Jochum and Otto Klemperer, among others, and became friends with Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt.

With the passing of Sami Habra, the SWF loses its patriarch and a whole part of its history vanishes.

A very modest man, those who knew him knew that he didn’t like praise or thanks, but we can’t help saying: “Thank you Sami for everything you’ve given us!”

We would like to express our deepest sympathy and emotion to his children, grandchildren and family.

The Board

Sami Habra and Elisabeth Furtwängler at the 20th anniversary of the SWF, 22 April 1989 in Vincennes.