When it comes to new programming ideas and intriguing concert projects, the Bundesjugendorchester (National Youth Orchestra of Germany, or BJO) is always ahead of the game. Last year it won an Echo Classic Award in the category “Classical for Children” together with Campino of “Die Toten Hosen”. At Young Euro Classic, where the BJO has been among the regulars from the first festival year onwards, its palette of unusual concerts already includes an orchestral accompaniment for the silent movie Nathan der Weise in 2010 s well as the premiere of a Concerto for Electric Cello and Orchestra at the 2016 festival. Following its motto “Playing. Supporting. Raising Enthusiasm”, the young musicians aged 14 to 19, most of them first prize winners of the Federal music competition “Jugend musiziert”, meet for several intense rehearsal periods per year. The BJO has long become one of Germany’s most important cultural ambassadors, as its concert tours to Tunisia (2014) and the three Baltic States, to Rumania and China (2015) and Mexico (2016) demonstrate. Since 2013 the Berlin Philharmonic has been the patron orchestra of the Bundesjugendorchester, holding joint rehearsals, master courses and concerts.
The conductor Patrick Lange launched his international career from Berlin. Here, he was First Conductor at the Komische Oper starting in 2008 before filling the vacant position of General Music Director from 2010 to 2012, with the title of chief conductor. During this time, he conducted important premieres, such as Wagner’s Meistersinger, Dvořák’s Rusalka and Mozart’s Idomeneo. At the same time, Lange made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 2010, where he has returned regularly ever since, most recently in 2016, when he led Puccini’s Tosca and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. He has appeared in Dresden and Hamburg and at the opera houses in Zurich, London, Paris, Seoul and Toronto. Most recently, the 36-year-old conducted a new production of Lulu at the Weimar Opera. In the autumn of 2017 he will become General Music Director in Wiesbaden. A former assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Lange is also in high demand as a concert conductor and has already worked with the National Youth Orchestra of Germany several times.
Ralf König became known to a broader audience when his comic book Der bewegte Mann was released as a movie featuring Katja Riemann and Til Schweiger in 1994. Previously, the comic-strip artist from Soest, Westphalia had already found enthusiastic fans for his chronicles of gay life, for example Silvestertuntenball and Sahneschnittchen. These were followed by volumes such as Superparadise (about Aids) and Sie dürfen sich jetzt küssen (about gay marriage). With an overall circulation of almost seven million books, Ralf König became the world’s most popular author of explicitly homosexual stories. His works have been translated into more than a dozen languages, most recently into Catalan, Gaelic and Polish. The artist, who is 56 today, found another focus for his work in Dschinn Dschinn (2006), which deals with radical Islamism. The same year, he also became noted for his comments on the controversy about the Danish Mohammed caricatures.
“Grand Gothic Suite“ (2014, orch. Robert Elhai)
“The Glass Harmonica” (1968, music for the animated film of the same title by Andrey Khrshanovsky
Prelude, “Hexenritt” and “Knusperwalzer” from “Hänsel und Gretel” (1891) with drawings from Wilhelm Busch’s “Bilderpossen” (1864)
“The Pet” (2017, music for the first animated movie by Winsor McCay of 1921)
Concert Fantasy “A Night on Bare Mountain” (Original version of 1867) with live drawings by Ralf König
7 pm: Pre-Concert Talk with Dr. Dieter Rexroth at the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free admission for ticket holders at 6:45 pm
PROGRAMME: “Fairy-Tales and Heroes”
The Bundesjugendorchester (BJO or National Youth Orchestra of Germany) is hard to beat when it comes to sheer creativity. Time and again, it offers new programme concepts, and this year the BJO – which brings together German musical talents aged 14 to 19 – is blazing new trails as ever. “Fairy-Tales and Heroes” is the theme of the concert; the live performance of the orchestra will be accompanied by images, starting with illustrations by Wilhelm Busch of music from Humperdinck’s opera Hänsel und Gretel and not ending by any means with Alfred Schnittke’s music for the animated film The Glass Harmonica. Rather, the programme features two absolute novelties: a newly composed accompaniment for the first silent animated movie ever, The Pet of 1921. And the crowning finale is Mussorgsky’s brooding concert fantasy A Night on Bald Mountain – with live drawings by the star comic-strip artist Ralf König. You have to have seen and heard this!
The concert will be recorded by kulturradio vom rbb (UKW 92,4 and Kabel 95,35) and broadcast as part of the ARD Radio Festival.