Sergiu Celibidache (Romanian: [ˈserd͡ʒju t͡ʃelibiˈdake]; 11 July [O.S. 28 June] 1912, Roman, Romania – 14 August 1996, La Neuville-sur-Essonne, France) 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, Sicilian Symphony Orchestra 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 the classical music repertoire and was known for a spirited performance style informed by his study and experiences in Zen Buddhism. His later career was marred by controversy and accusations of sexism and discrimination that came to light during a 12-year legal battle that dominated his tenure at the Munich Philharmonic. Celibidache is regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century.