Diploma in music education, Royal Academy Music, Stockholm, 1948. Diploma: organist, Royal Academy Music, Stockholm, 1950. Diploma: orchestra conductor, Royal Academy Music, Stockholm, 1950.
Philosophy candidate, University Uppsala, Sweden, 1952. Doctor of Music (honorary), Andrews University, Michigan, 1978.
He has been Music Director or Principal Conductor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (1954–1962), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (1962–1968), Danish Radio Symphony (1967–1977) and Swedish Radio Symphony (1977–1982). From 1975-1985, he served as chief conductor of the Dresdner Staatskapelle, in the process making many well-regarded recordings, including works of Richard Strauss and the complete Beethoven and Schubert symphonies, and leading the orchestra on international tours. Blomstedt was music director of the San Francisco Symphony from 1985 to 1995.
After leaving San Francisco full-time, Blomstedt held principal conductorships with the North German Radio Symphony (1996–1998) and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (1998–2005).
Blomstedt is currently Conductor Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony and Honorary Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.
Married Waltraud Regina Petersen, May 29, 1955. Children: Cecilia, Maria, Elisabet Vivianne, Kristina Ulrika.