June 14, 2018 8 pm

Benjamin Zander

A native of Great Britain, Benjamin Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in 2012 and has subsequently turned it into one of the leading youth orchestras in the USA. Born in 1939 in England as the son of emigrants from Berlin, the twelve-year-old became a composition student of Benjamin Britten and Imogen Holst before turning to the cello as his instrument. In 1967 Zander moved to the USA, where he taught at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston until retiring in 2012; his public lectures on music were a popular fixture. As a conductor, Zander has worked with numerous national youth orchestras, but also with the Israel Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony, and the Scottish and Irish National Orchestras. Together with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, he has recorded Beethoven and Mahler symphonies. Zander has been invited as a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos several times. His bestseller The Art of Possibility (2000) has been translated into 17 languages.



“The Banks of Green Willow” (1913)


“La Valse” (1920)


Symphony No. 9 in D-Major (1910)

South Africa
August 3, 2018 8 pm
Dr. Klaus Lederer

© SenatKultEuropa

Dr. Klaus Lederer was born in Mecklenburg in 1974 and spent his childhood and early adolescence in Frankfurt an der Oder. After the end of the GDR, he was active in leftist youth organizations and joined the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) in 1992. He spent the 1990s studying law at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin’s law school, where he earned a doctorate, and working for the PDS as a local politician. In December 2005 Klaus Lederer was elected chair of the Berlin Left Party, a position he held until December 2016. From 2003 to January 2017, Dr. Lederer was a member of the Left Party parliamentary group in the House of Representatives, Berlin’s state legislature, and was its spokesperson on legal policy. Dr. Klaus Lederer has been Mayor and Senator for Culture and Europe in Berlin since December 2016.

Mayor and Senator for Culture and Europe in Berlin
Dr. Willi Steul

© Bettina Fürst

The former general director of Deutschlandradio (2009-2017) has an unusually intriguing biography: after studies in England and France and earning a PhD in ethnology, Steul spent almost 5 years studying blood vengeance in Afghanistan during the 1970s, teaching intermittently at the University of Kabul before turning to journalism for good. He reported from Afghanistan and Pakistan, from Beirut, Greece, Turkey and from the Gulf War in 1991 as an ARD correspondent. In 1994 he joined Deutschlandradio in Berlin as an editor in chief. In 1998 he became associate general director of the SWR and director for Baden-Württemberg; in 2009 he returned to Deutschlandradio as its general director. Dr. Willi Steul was awarded the German Cross of Merit and is a Commandeur of the French Ordre national du Mérite. He is one of the co-founders of Young Euro Classic and has been chairman of the Circle of Friends of European Youth Orchestras e.V., which has presented the festival since the year 2000.

Chairman of the German Circle of Friends of European Youth Orchestras e.V.
Ulrich Deppendorf


© ARD Hanna Lippman

Ulrich Deppendorf is a doyen of public television in Germany, whose appearance signalled important information on current world events – he moderated the Report from Berlin no less than 289 times. Berlin is the adopted home of this child of the Ruhr area, the place the 68-year-old feels at home. After studying law in Münster, he interned at the WDR, whose television programme director he ultimately became, after many successful years as an editor responsible for multiple features and programming areas, including “ARD aktuell” and its signature shows Tagesschau and Tagesthemen. That job interrupted his position as the head and chief editor of the ARD Capital Studio, which he then took up again from 2007 to 2015. To many, perhaps himself included, he thereby “returned home”.He finds it easy to deal with the gruff nature of the Berliners; perhaps it is also the city’s cultural riches that attract him. After all, the self-confessed classical music fan originally harboured quite a different dream profession: “I never regretted my decision to become a journalist, not even for one day. But in my next life, I would like to be a conductor.” As one of the founding fathers of Young Euro Classic, he has actively accompanied the festival from the very first minute. We hope this will remain the case for many years! In May of this year, he also became the chairman of the charitable association supporting the German Historical Museum Berlin.

Deputy Chairman of the German Circle of Friends of European Youth Orchestras e.V.
Duncan Ward

© Frank De Villiers

Duncan Ward is among the most sought-after conductors of the younger generation. At the suggestion of Sir Simon Rattle, the British conductor was admitted to the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic, the first conductor ever to join the Academy from 2012 to 2014. From 2015 to 2017 he was principal conductor of the British ensemble Sinfonia Viva as well as associate conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Recent highlights include engagements at the Orchestre de Paris, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the MDR Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Bamberg Symphonic Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Residentie Orkest and the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana as well as his return to the Glyndebourne Festival, where he led Brett Dean’s opera Hamlet as part of the touring programme. During the 2017/18 season he conducted the Dresden Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Trondheim Symphony and the double production of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and James MacMillan’s Clemency at the Netherlands Opera. He has worked repeatedly with the MIAGI Youth Orchestra, for the first time in Johannesburg in 2013, and has implemented many fascinating projects and tours with the organization over the course of the years.


Visser Liebenberg

© Antonia Steyn

The young clarinettist Visser Liebenberg has been a member oft he MIAGI Youth Orchestra for six years; he already performed as a soloist with the orchestra during his first European tour with MIAGI in 2012. Apart from his soloistic and chamber music activities, Liebenberg performs regularly with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. After graduating from the Stellenbosch Conservatory in his South African homeland with a bachelor’s degree, Liebenberg is now enrolled there in the project “Africa Open – Institute for Music Research and Innovation”, where he is exploring new clarinet techniques oriented towards the sound of indigenous South African music.





“Egmont” Overture in F-Minor Op. 84 (1810)


“The Firebird” Suite for Orchestra (1919)


“Prelude, Fugue and Riffs” (1949/52)


“Rainbow Beats” Suite for 100 Years Nelson Mandela (2018)

August 4, 2018 8 pm
Oliver Mommsen

© Mirjam Knickriem


Oliver Mommsen was born in Düsseldorf and attended the Maria Körber School of Acting in Berlin. He then worked intensively with the director Stefan Bachmann and the group “Theater Affekt”, which also led to his engagements at the Zurich Festival and the Schauspielhaus and Volksbühne (Prater) in Vienna. Since 1996 Oliver Mommsen has regularly played leading roles on television; since 2001 he has played Inspector Nils Stedefreund in the Bremen “Tatort”. In 2006 he was awarded the German Crime Prize as Best Supporting Actor for the episode “Scheherazade”. In addition to starring in numerous television films, Oliver Mommsen also has a theatre career. In 2013 and 2014 he performed in Eine Sommernacht at the Komödie am Kurfürstendamm in Berlin. The piece won the Monica Bleibtreu Prize for Best Comedy. In the fall, the penultimate “Tatort” with him and Sabine Postel will air; in November Oliver Mommsen appears on stage at Berlin’s Schillertheater in the play Die Tanzstunde, opposite Tanja Wedhorn. Since 2005 he has been an ambassador for the SOS Children’s Villages and since 2017 he has supported the association “Weißer Ring”, an organization seeking to help crime victims and their families, as an ambassador.

Patron of the Evening
Elias Grandy

© Felix Broede

Versatile and on the move – that describes the conductor Elias Grandy, originally from Munich. Three years ago, he took up his position as General Music Director at the Heidelberg Theatre, where he has since extended his contract to 2021. The 37-year-old has another prominent string to his bow with the ARTE feature Stars von morgen, in which he regularly joins moderator Rolando Villazón and is responsible for the orchestral part. Originally Grandy studied to be a cellist; he played for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra before being appointed associate principal cellist at the Komische Oper in Berlin in 2007. In 2011 he made his opera debut at the Kammerakademie Rheinsberg, leading Grétry’s opera Das Urteil des Midas; that same year he moved on to Darmstadt, where he was appointed First Kapellmeister. In Heidelberg, Grandy will conduct premieres of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Gounod’s Faust as well as several symphony concerts. Making his debut with the Bundesjugendorchester, Elias Grandy has stepped in for Maestro Mario Venzago, who had to cancel the tour with the National Youth Orchestra of Germany for health reasons.

Gerhild Romberger

© Rosa Frank

Originally born in Sögel in the Emsland region of Germany, the mezzo-soprano Gerhild Romberger is one of the few singers who concentrate exclusively on the concert and song repertoire. In this field, she is among the most sought-after voices of her generation; her repertoire ranges from the works of Bach and Handel via the great oratorio roles and Mahler songs to Wolfgang Rihm. “Gerhild Romberger sings, and time stops,” the Süddeutsche Zeitung raved. She has sung under the batons of prominent conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Riccardo Chailly, Gustavo Dudamel, Philippe Herreweghe and Mariss Jansons. In December 2017 the Konzerthaus audience heard her perform Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde under Iván Fischer. Her recording of Mahler songs with the pianist Alfredo Perl brought Gerhild Romberger an Echo Classic Award in 2017. Since 2003 she has held a professorship at the Detmold Music Academy.




Overture in G-Minor WAB 98 (1863)


“L’Ascension”, Four Symphonic Meditations for Orchestra (1934)


“Kindertotenlieder” (1905)


Symphony “Mathis der Maler” (1934)

August 5, 2018 8 pm
Peter Frey

© ZDF Pressestelle

Editor-in-Chief of the ZDF

From “Morgenmagazin” to “WISO” and “Aktuelles Sportstudio” – as editor-in-chief of the ZDF, he is responsible for these and many other broadcasts. Since 2010 Peter Frey has been the director of the ZDF’s information department, overseeing more than one thousand employees. As a commentator in the “heute journal” and interviewer for the series “Was nun?” he also keeps working in front of the camera. Peter Frey was born in Bingen on the River Rhine, studied in Mainz and Madrid and has worked as a reporter all over the world. In 1978, while he was still a student of politics, pedagogy and Romance languages, he began working as a journalist, initially for the Südwestfunk radio and for the newspaper “Frankfurter Rundschau”. In 1983 Frey began reporting from Latin America, Poland, Spain and other countries for the ZDF’s “heute journal”. Afterwards he became the ZDF’s correspondent in Washington. From 1992 to 1998 he established the “ZDF Morgenmagazin” format in Berlin. As the director of the foreign policy department of the ZDF, he moderated the feature “auslandsjournal” from 1998 to 2001. He has travelled as a reporter to the Middle East, Russia, the USA and Eastern Europe. As the director of the ZDF Capital Studio, he moderated the feature “Berlin direct” and the ZDF Summer Interviews from 2001 to 2010. He presented special features on the election of Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis and Barack Obama. Peter Frey loves music, from Beethoven to Berlin’s singer-songwriters. He is married and lives in Mainz and Berlin.

Patron of the Evening
Pablo González

Originally from Oviedo in Asturias, the conductor Pablo González was educated at the Guildhall School of Music in London and is equally in demand on the concert podium and for opera productions. He has led performances of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Strauss’ Daphne and Wagner’s Rienzi at the Teatro Liceu in Barcelona; for the Glyndebourne Touring Opera, he conducted Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Donizetti’s Elisir d’Amore. He has conducted concerts with the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Residentie Orkest in The Hague and the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester. In June 2017, González performed works by Schumann and Strauss with the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin. His concert repertoire spans the classical and romantic era to Mahler, Sibelius, Nielsen and Shostakovich. González recently presented a 3-CD box featuring orchestral works by his compatriot Enrique Granados. 


Asier Polo

The Spanish cellist Asier Polo has been at the top of his field in his homeland for many years. Educated first in Bilbao, then with Maria Kliegel in Cologne and Ivan Monighetti in Basel, he has performed in London and Paris, with the Israel Philharmonic, the festivals in Schleswig-Holstein and Gstaad, in Mexico and Brazil. Polo’s special reputation in Spain is based on numerous world premieres; thus, Jesús Torres, Luis de Pablo, Jesús Villa-Rojo and Antón García Abril have written cello concertos for him. The artist has also recorded numerous works by the younger generation of Spanish composers, such as Oscar Escudero, Tomás Marco, Carmelo Bernaola and Jesús Ruedo. Another CD with the two cello concertos by Joaquin Rodrigo and the concerto by Alberto Ginastera was released recently. Asier Polo is also a professor at the Music Academies in San Sebastián and Madrid. He plays a cello by Francesco Ruggeri (Cremona, 1689).



“Llueven estrellas en el mar” (2018, German Premiere)


“Don Quixote” Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character Op. 35 (1898)


Concerto for Orchestra Sz. 116 (1944/45)

August 6, 2018 8 pm

Boris Aljinovic


Boris Aljinovic shares a fate with many a gifted stage and theatre actors: the son of a German mother and a Croatian father became really well known mainly thanks to television. For 14 years he played Berlin’s inspector Felix Stark on the popular Tatort series, side by side with Dominic Raacke (aka Till Ritter). He gave that role up four years ago – and unlike some others, Aljinovic hung up his handcuffs like a gentleman, without lamenting the fact in the yellow press. After many years of Tatort and many movies, for example with Otto Waalkes, the versatile actor, who can be as silly and playful as he is mindful and profound, is known to almost everyone in Germany. Calm and mindful describes the person Boris Aljinovic well – and gifted with a subtle sense of humour. No wonder: Aljinovic originally wanted to draw comic strips for a living. At the moment, the 51-year-old has taken up stage acting again, produces successful audio books – and prefers to fight wind and waves, often all alone on his sailboat for months, instead of imaginary crooks.  

Patron of the Evening
John Neumeier

© Kiran West

The US-American John Neumeier is among the most important choreographers of our times. As Ballet Director and Artistic Director of the Hamburg Ballet, he turned this company into one of Germany’s leading ones. John Neumeier won international acclaim for his combination of traditional ballet with new, contemporary forms. One of John Neumeier’s passions is the support and education of young talent. In 1978, he founded the Ballet School of the Hamburg Ballet. In 2011, John Neumeier founded the National Youth Ballet, whose artistic director he has been ever since. John Neumeier has been awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit twice and was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 2003. He already choreographed a ballet for Young Euro Classic in 2012, and in 2013 and 2014 the National Youth Ballet appeared at the Konzerthaus in two of his choreographies as well.



Director and Choreographer
Kevin Haigen

© Silvano Ballone

Born in Miami, Kevin Haigen has worked as a dancer, choreographer, ballet teacher and ballet master. He trained at the School of American Ballet under George Balanchine, where he created his first choreographies. In 1976 Kevin Haigen joined the Hamburg Ballet, where he returned in 1991, after several international engagements, as company ballet master and ballet teacher. Ever since, he has assisted John Neumeier in the production of numerous ballets worldwide. Since the founding of the National Youth Ballet, Kevin Haigen has been its Artistic and Pedagogical Director.




Artistic and Pedagogical Director

August 7, 2018 8 pm
Dr. Klaus Lederer

© SenatKultEuropa

Mayor and Senator for Culture and Europe in Berlin

Dr. Klaus Lederer was born in Mecklenburg in 1974 and spent his childhood and early adolescence in Frankfurt an der Oder. After the end of the GDR, he was active in leftist youth organizations and joined the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) in 1992. He spent the 1990s studying law at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin’s law school, where he earned a doctorate, and working for the PDS as a local politician. In December 2005 Klaus Lederer was elected chair of the Berlin Left Party, a position he held until December 2016. From 2003 to January 2017, Dr. Lederer was a member of the Left Party parliamentary group in the House of Representatives, Berlin’s state legislature, and was its spokesperson on legal policy. Dr. Klaus Lederer has been Mayor and Senator for Culture and Europe in Berlin since December 2016. 

Patron of the Evening
Quentin Hindley

© David Duchon-Doris

The young French conductor Quentin Hindley began his musical career as a violist at the Paris Opera before switching to the conductor’s podium. He was educated at the National Conservatory, where the Hungarian Zsolt Nagy was his teacher; he also participated in courses with the legendary conducting teacher Jorma Panula, with Neeme and Paavo Järvi, Susanna Mälkki and Michail Jurowski. In 2012 Quentin Hindley became Leonard Slatkin’s assistant at the Orchestre National de Lyon. In the summer of 2015 he worked with Simon Rattle in Aix-en-Provence on the world premiere of the opera The Monster in the Maze by Jonathan Dove. In 2017/18 he conducts this work in Lille, Lisbon and Paris. Apart from many French orchestras, Hindley has also been invited to guest conduct in Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary. In addition to his work with youth orchestras, his is intensely involved in social and intercultural projects, for example a version of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville for children, which was performed in the suburbs of Paris.

Urban Stanič

The young Slovenian pianist Urban Stanič is currently a student at the Ljubljana Music Academy, where he studies with Dubravka Tomšič Srebotnjak. At the age of three, Urban Stanič received his first piano lessons; he celebrated his first successes at the International Competition for Young Musicians in Povoletto (Udine, Italy), which he won four times in a row. In the meantime, Urban Stanič can look back to a multitude of solo recitals and has performed with various Slovenian orchestras; in June 2017 he played at the opening concert of the festival “Summer in Old Ljubljana”. The pianist also has other outstanding talents: he was national champion in mathematics twice and five times in logics. Furthermore, he has been successful at national chess championships.



“The Symphonic Waltz” (2018, German Premiere)


Piano Concerto in A-Minor Op. 54 (1841)


“Thus Spake Zarathustra” Op. 30 (1896)

August 8, 2018 8 pm
Ulrich Deppendorf

© ARD Hanna Lippman


Ulrich Deppendorf is a doyen of public television in Germany, whose appearance signalled important information on current world events – he moderated the Report from Berlin no less than 289 times. Berlin is the adopted home of this child of the Ruhr area, the place the 68-year-old feels at home. After studying law in Münster, he interned at the WDR, whose television programme director he ultimately became, after many successful years as an editor responsible for multiple features and programming areas, including “ARD aktuell” and its signature shows Tagesschau and Tagesthemen. That job interrupted his position as the head and chief editor of the ARD Capital Studio, which he then took up again from 2007 to 2015. To many, perhaps himself included, he thereby “returned home”.He finds it easy to deal with the gruff nature of the Berliners; perhaps it is also the city’s cultural riches that attract him. After all, the self-confessed classical music fan originally harboured quite a different dream profession: “I never regretted my decision to become a journalist, not even for one day. But in my next life, I would like to be a conductor.” As one of the founding fathers of Young Euro Classic, he has actively accompanied the festival from the very first minute. We hope this will remain the case for many years! In May of this year, he also became the chairman of the charitable association supporting the German Historical Museum Berlin.

Patron of the Evening
Jonathan Darlington

© Andreas Köhring

The British conductor Jonathan Darlington is a musical citizen of the world. Born in England in 1954, he was General Music Director at the Duisburg Opera from 2002 to 2011, lives in Paris today and has also been Music Director at the Vancouver Opera in Western Canada. Darlington started his career as a pianist, accompanist and répétiteur. He assisted Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez and Myung-whun Chung in Paris; he was also the accompanist to master courses of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Janet Baker and Peter Pears at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh. Since his 1984 conducting debut in Paris, Darlington has appeared with innumerable orchestras – including the Konzerthaus Orchestra in Berlin – and at opera houses in Europe and the USA. Apart from his position in Vancouver, he conducts regularly at the Semper Opera in Dresden (e.g. Die Zauberflöte, Die Fledermaus), but also in Vienna (Madama Butterfly) and Frankfurt (The Makropoulos Case).


Martin Mangrum

Aged only 21, the horn player Martin Mangrum is currently enrolled at the Colburn School, a conservatory in Los Angeles, where the principal horn player of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Andrew Bain, is his teacher. Martin Mangrum received his first horn lessons at the age of ten, subsequently moving on to the Montreal Music Conservatory and to the Marianopolis College. He has received several scholarships for the Aspen Music Festival during recent years. In the concert series “Jeunes et Pros” (Young Musicians and Professionals) in Montreal, the horn player has performed with members of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Martin Mangrum has also been a substitute during concerts of the Los Angeles Philharmonic several times. In 2017 he won the Sénecal Mozart Prize and was invited as a soloist to the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. This year, the Canadian Arts Council honoured the musician with the Michael Measures Prize.




"Catfish Row" Suite from "Porgy and Bess" (1936)


Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat-Major Op. 132 (1942)


"Moontides" (2018, German Premiere)


"Le Poème de l’extase" Op. 54 (1905-1908)

August 9, 2018 8 pm
Stefan Raue

© Bettina

General Director, Deutschlandradio

Stefan Raue has been General Director of Deutschlandradio since September 1, 2017, a position he took over from Dr. Willi Steul. Raue was born in Wuppertal in 1958 and studied history, literary studies and philosophy in Freiburg and Bielefeld. His career as a journalist began in 1986 as an intern at the “Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung” and at the WDR radio station, where he subsequently worked from 1987 to 1990 as a reporter in the State Studio in Düsseldorf. In 1990 he was appointed political editor, managing editor and chief editor for current affairs at RIAS-TV; in 1992 director of the department of current affairs and news at DW-TV. From 1992 to 1995 he held various leading positions at the ZDF; from 2011 to 2017 he was editor-in-chief for all three MDR media. Stefan Raue is married and has two children.

Patron of the Evening
Cristian Mandeal

© Virgil Oprina

The Romanian conductor Cristian Mandeal, born in 1946, studied at the Music Academy in Bucharest before completing his training with Herbert von Karajan in Berlin and with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich. From 1987 to 2009, he was the Chief Conductor and General Music Director of the Bucharest Philharmonic, guiding its rise to an orchestra of international rank. Apart from Romanian orchestras, he has conducted renowned orchestras throughout Europe and was Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester until 2009 and the Copenhagen Philharmonic until 2013. In 2001 and 2003, Cristian Mandeal was the Artistic Director of the George Enescu International Festival. He has conducted more than 60 world premieres of Romanian and other composers and has recorded George Enescu’s complete symphonic works for CD. During recent years, the 72-year-old has been active in building up the National Romanian Youth Orchestra, with which he last appeared at Young Euro Classic in 2012 and 2014, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Romania.

Mihai Ritivoiu

The young Romanian pianist Mihai Ritivoiu was educated at the music academy of his hometown of Bucharest and then moved on to the Guildhall School of Music in London. He has also participated in master classes of renowned piano pedagogues and pianists such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Richard Goode and Emanuel Ax. In 2010 Ritivoiu won the National Competition Dinu Lipatti in Bucharest; in 2015 he was invited to perform a special concert commemorating the 65th anniversary of his great antecedent’s death. As a winner of the International George Enescu Piano Competition, he has recorded Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Romanian Radio Orchestra. In addition to solo recitals and performances with orchestra, Ritivoiu dedicates much of his time to chamber music. He now lives in London, where he has performed at the Barbican Centre, at Wigmore Hall and at the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.



“Levante” (World Premiere)


Piano Concerto No. 1 in C-Major Op. 15 (1800)


Symphony No. 11 (“The Year 1905”) in G-Minor Op. 103 (1956-57)

August 10, 2018 8 pm
Dr. Willi Steul

© Bettina Fürst


The former general director of Deutschlandradio (2009-2017) has an unusually intriguing biography: after studies in England and France and earning a PhD in ethnology, Steul spent almost 5 years studying blood vengeance in Afghanistan during the 1970s, teaching intermittently at the University of Kabul before turning to journalism for good. He reported from Afghanistan and Pakistan, from Beirut, Greece, Turkey and from the Gulf War in 1991 as an ARD correspondent. In 1994 he joined Deutschlandradio in Berlin as an editor in chief. In 1998 he became associate general director of the SWR and director for Baden-Württemberg; in 2009 he returned to Deutschlandradio as its general director. Dr. Willi Steul was awarded the German Cross of Merit and is a Commandeur of the French Ordre national du Mérite. He is one of the co-founders of Young Euro Classic and has been chairman of the Circle of Friends of European Youth Orchestras e.V., which has presented the festival since the year 2000.


Patron of the Evening
Sean Jones

© Jimmy Katz

Music and spirituality have always overlapped in the artistic vision of the trumpet player, composer, pedagogue and activist Sean Jones. Born in 1978 in Warren, Ohio, it was Miles Davis who inspired him to switch from percussion to trumpet. Only when he was 19 and already a classically trained trumpet player did he start turning increasingly to jazz. A six-month stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York brought him an encounter with Wynton Marsalis, who offered Jones the position of lead trumpeter in his orchestra. Ever since, he has performed with his own ensembles, but also with great jazz personalities such as Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves and Marcus Miller. Together with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, he played a “Tribute to Miles” tour in 2011. A versatile and experienced teacher as well, Jones has recently been appointed to the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. His most recent albums are im*pro*vise: never before seen (2014) and Live From Jazz At The Bistro (2017).

Trumpet and Bandleader
Special Guest: Dianne Reeves

© Jerris Madison

A winner of five Grammy Awards, Dianne Reeves is one of the world’s most prominent jazz singers. Her most recent awards came in 2006 for the soundtrack to George Clooney’s film Good Night, and Good Luck and in 2015 for her solo album Beautiful Life. Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1956, Dianne Reeves grew up in Denver, Colorado. Her talent was discovered during a competition for high school big bands; her breakthrough came when Harry Belafonte made her a lead singer for his tours in 1983. Ever since, the vocalist has performed with doyens of jazz such as Wynton Marsalis, has toured with her own performance Sing the Truth!, but has also worked with classical ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle. Since her debut album in 1977 Dianne Reeves has produced more than 20 records, including Quiet After the Storm (1994), In the Moment: Live in Concert (2000) and A Little Moonlight (2004). In 2018, the National Endowment for the Arts will designate her a Jazz Master—the highest honour the United States bestows on jazz artists.


August 11, 2018 8 pm
Stefan Jürgens

© Petro Dome


Stefan Jürgens, born in Unna in 1963, is a sought-after film and theatre actor and has been a musician from his earliest youth. Between shooting movies, Jürgens has toured Germany and Austria very successfully with his band. As a pianist he writes and composes almost all his songs himself. Stefan Jürgens made a name for himself with the legendary RTL comedy show “Samstag Nacht”, by playing the role of Inspector Hellmann in the Berlin ‘Tatort” and appearing on numerous film and television productions. Knowing that acting and music are basically two full-time jobs does not stop him from doing both: “I want to do both and not miss either. It may be strenuous, but it’s very satisfying,” he says. When he is busy for half a year playing the rough-and-tumble Major Carl Ribarski for “SOKO Wien/Donau”, as he is right now, he looks forward to sitting down at the piano again after a short break – whether alone at home, texting and composing, or during live performances. Since he was 16, he has been on the road with bands, has remained true to himself and still tours the entire country. His albums Langstreckenlauf, Heldenzeiten, Alles immer möglich, Grenzenlos Mensch will be followed in 2019 by his fifth studio album, Was zählt. In the spring of 2019, Stefan Jürgen tours Germany and Austria with his WAS ZÄHLT TOUR.

Patron of the Evening
Antony Hermus

© Marco Borggreve

Much of the career of the Dutch conductor Antony Hermus has taken place in Germany. During his six years as General Music Director at the Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau (2009-15) he called attention to the opera house not only by producing a complete Wagner Ring, but also by open-air and Twitter concerts. Guest engagements have taken the 45-year-old to the most important symphony orchestras of the Netherlands, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra London. This spring, Hermus made his debut at Vienna’s Musikverein with the Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich. He also performed Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony with the Residentie Orkest Den Haag and returned to the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra for a cinema production of Stravinsky’s Firebird. His discography also reflects his many interests: after works by the Romantics Hans Rott, August Klughardt and Alphons Diepenbrock, Hermus most recently recorded compositions by the Austrian Siegmund von Hausegger with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.



“Cinderella Suites” Op. 107, 108, 109 (1945/46, Excerpts)


“Mors Aeterna“ (2015, German Premiere)


Symphony No. 4 in E-Minor Op. 98 (1885)


Celebrate with us! At the traditional AUDIENCE PARTY after the concert.

August 12, 2018 8 pm
Rolf-Dieter Krause

© AFU_WDR-Pressestelle/Fotoredaktion_JD


Tough times in Brussels! After the British voted for Brexit, the European capital then had to survive the “Krexit” as well in 2016: Rolf-Dieter Krause, the ARD’s “Mr. Europe” for decades, retired amidst well-earned accolades. “Factually competent, analytically critical, clearly expressive,” the Medium Magazin described him when naming him “Journalist of the Year” in 2012. Now he is a true Berliner. Krause, born in Lüneburg, began his career as a reporter for newspapers, joined the WDR in Düsseldorf in 1982 and became the ARD Correspondent in Bonn from 1985 to 1990. In 1990 he finally landed where he belonged: in Brussels. With refreshing openness, he recounts: “At the time, I had no particular views on the European Community. I was simply young and curious.” After an intermezzo as a Deputy Studio Director in Bonn and Head of Programming for the WDR TV in Cologne in 2000, Brussel welcomed him back in 2001 – for 15 years, the rest of his professional life. Today he works as advisor and as speaker on European Affairs.


Patron of the Evening
Migran Agadzhanyan

The 26-year-old Migran Agadzhanyan is a true multi-talent. On the one hand, he has a successful career as a tenor, having studied with Renata Scotto at the Opera Studio of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and won prizes at renowned vocal competitions in Italy and Russia. In 2017 he made his debut at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg in Verdi’s opera I vespri siciliani; he has also performed there as Don Carlo, Don José in Carmen and Rodolfo in La Bohème. On the other hand, Agadzhanyan is equally successful as a pianist, winning competitions in Kiev, Paris and Pesaro. He still studies piano at the State Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where he is also a member of the conducting class of Vladimir Altschuler. In addition to his position as founder and conductor of the Youth Chamber Orchestra St. Petersburg, Agadzhanyan regularly conducts other Russian orchestras and composes as well.

Alexandr Bykov

The Russian oboist Aleksandr Bykov, born in Leningrad in 1991, graduated from the State Conservatory Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in St. Petersburg in 2017 and has been the assistant to Prof. A. Kazakov at that institution since then. He was also appointed principal oboist in the State Kapella Orchestra in St. Petersburg in 2014. Bykov is regularly invited to perform as a guest the Mariinsky Theatre St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and by Theodor Currentzis’ MusicAeterna Orchestra. The Russian has attended master classes with oboists such as François Leleux, Maurice Bourgue, David Walter and Gregor Witt of the Berlin Staatskapelle. 



Karina Flores

The Russian soprano Karina Flores first studied vocal performance in Rostov-on-Don before moving to Rome, where Renata Scotto was her teacher at the Opera Studio of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She won awards at numerous vocal competitions in Rome, Piacenza and St. Petersburg. In the meantime, Karina Flores has become a sought-after singer in the Italian fach; her roles include Bellini’s Norma and Verdi’s Elisabetta (Don Carlos) as well as Aida in Peter Stein’s production at Moscow’s Stanislavsky Theatre. Most recently, she was heard as Tosca in Braunschweig at the end of 2017 and as Desdemona in Verona in February 2018. Of course, she also commands roles such as Tchaikovsky’s Tatiana and Liza and Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District.


Felix Kudryavtsev

The Russian bass Felix Kudryatsev completed his vocal studies at the State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow in 2004. In 2003 he joined the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre in Moscow. Since 2008 he has been engaged there as a soloist and has appeared in many productions, ranging from Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night and The Tale of Tsar Saltan and Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery to Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Massenet’s Werther and Manon as well as Cherubini’s Médée.





Symphony No. 14 for Soprano, Bass and Chamber Orchestra Op. 135 (1969)


Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra (2004, German Premiere)


Serenade for String Orchestra in C-Major Op. 48 (1880)

August 13, 2018 8 pm
Lavinia Frey

© Sebastian Bolesch

Managing Director of Programming and Projects, Humboldt Forum Foundation at Berlin’s Schloss; Managing Director, Humboldt Forum Kultur GmbH

Lavinia Frey studied history, theatre studies and dance in Zurich, Bern and London. She subsequently worked as a stage director, choreographer and dramaturge at nationally and internationally renowned theatres. In 2007 she co-founded a creative cultural agency together with the literary agent Karin Graf, conceiving and implementing many cultural events at the interface with politics, business and science. At the suggestion of Monika Grütters, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, in 2016 she was appointed head of the culture section of the Humboldt Forum Foundation at Berlin’s Schloss and managing director of the Humboldt Forum Kultur GmbH, where she worked closely with founding directors Neil MacGregor, Hermann Parzinger and Horst Bredekamp, coordinating the different parties. In June 2018, together with the appointment of Prof. Dr. Hartmut Dorgerloh as director general, Lavinia Frey was appointed managing director of the newly-founded department of programming and projects at the Humboldt Forum Foundation at Berlin’s Schloss.

Patron of the Evening
Johannes Gustavsson

© Anna Hult

The 42-year-old Swedish conductor Johannes Gustavsson began his musical career as a violist before choosing conducting as his main focus. Winning the Sir Georg Solti Competition in Frankfurt and the Toscanini Competition in Parma paved the way, as did the Swedish Conductor’s Prize and the Herbert Blomstedt Award. Ever since, Gustavsson has conducted all the major orchestras in Scandinavia, including the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic and the Philharmonic Orchestras in Helsinki and Turku. Since 2012 the Swede has been chief conductor of the Oulu Symphony Orchestra; since 2015 he has been chief conductor of the Wermland Opera as well. Gustavsson has led world premieres of more than 50 orchestral works by Nordic composers; he also recorded many of these compositions for CD, e.g. works by Anders Eliasson, CFE Horneman, Tobias Broström, Britta Byström and Einar Englung.

Ann-Helen Moen

© Jan Alsaker

Born in 1969 in Molde, Norway, Ann-Helen Moen is a lyric soprano known for her clarity and beauty of tone as well as for the focus of her delivery, whether in concert or on the opera stage. She studied at the Grieg Academy in Bergen and at the Opera Academy in Copenhagen. Ann-Helen Moen started her career as a company member at the Opera Graz, and has appeared at the Hannover State Opera, the Zurich Opera, the Danish National Opera, the Théâtre Paris Villette and at companies in Germany, Sweden and Ireland. Ann-Helen Moen is widely recognised as a significant interpreter of Mozart, and has sung Donna Anna, Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Pamina and First Lady (The Magic Flute) at The Norwegian Opera & Ballet in Oslo. Her repertoire also includes Sandrina (La finta giardiniera), Donna Elvira, (Don Giovanni) and the Countess (The Marriage of Figaro). She has given concerts with such distinguished ensembles as the Bach Collegium Japan and the MDR Symphony Orchestra. In 2000 she received the highest distinction for Norwegian singers, the Esso Award.

Håvard Stensvold

© Studio Lasse Berre

The bass-baritone Håvard Stensvold is one of Norway’s leading concert and opera singers and regularly appears throughout Europe, far beyond his hometown of Oslo. In addition to all major Mozart roles, his repertoire includes mainly 17th– and 18th-century operas, e.g. Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Purcell’s The Indian Queen. On the other hand, Stensvold is a champion of contemporary opera; thus, he appeared in the premieres of Cecilie Ore’s opera Dead Beat Escapement (2008) und in Knut Vaage’s Khairos (2013) at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo. As a concert singer, Stensvold has appeared with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in Bach’s Mass in B-Minor; further engagements have led him to work with renowned Early Music conductors such as Giovanni Antonini, Fabio Biondi, Paul Goodwin, Andrew Manze, Robin Ticciati and Bruno Weil.



“Eleven Gates” (2006)


Songs for Soprano and Orchestra:
“Solveig’s Song” from Op. 23 (1874/1892)
“The Last Spring” Op. 33 No. 2 (1880)
“Near Rondane” Op. 33 No. 9 (1973-80)
“A Swan“ Op. 25 No. 2 (1876)
"Zur Rosenzeit" Op. 48 No. 5 (1889)
"Ein Traum" Op. 48 No. 6 (1889)


Symphony No. 3 “Sinfonia espansiva” in D-Minor Op. 27 (1912)

August 14, 2018 8 pm

Sascha Hingst

Television Presenter

Sascha Hingst was born in Berlin in 1971 and grew up in Berlin and Leipzig. After graduating from school in 1990, he studied law in Heidelberg, taking his state examinations in law in 1998. While still a student, Hingst worked for the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) in Leipzig, the Südwestrundfunk (SWR) in Mainz and the German-French cultural TV channel ARTE in Strasbourg. From 2001 to 2007 he presented the “Hessenschau” on Hessischer Rundfunk (HR). Since September 2007 Sascha Hingst has presented the “Abendschau” on Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb). On November 20, 2015 Sascha Hingst won the Bremen Television Award in the category “Best Presenter”. Starting in January 2017, he has also presented the quiz show “Jede Antwort zählt” and the new ARD feature “Mittagsmagazin” from Berlin, the latter together with Jessy Wellmer.

Patron of the Evening
Gianandrea Noseda

© Sussie Ahlburg

The Italian Gianandrea Noseda, born in Milan in 1964, is a sought-after conductor in the Old and New World alike. Since 2016 he has been chief conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC; he is also principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic. He regularly conducts the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, appears in New York and Paris and leads orchestras with which he enjoys long-standing relationships, e.g. the BBC Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. As the music director of the Teatro Regio in Turin, a position Noseda has held since 2007, he has managed to secure a high artistic level and international attention for that institution. At the Met in New York, he has conducted operas such as Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Bizet’s Pearl Fishers and Borodin’s Prince Igor. His discography includes works ranging from Dvořák and Liszt to Casella, Respighi and Dallapiccola as well as Shostakovich and Prokofiev.

Seong-Jin Cho

© Harald Hoffmann / DG

For the Korean Seong-Jin Cho, performing at the Konzerthaus is almost a home game – not only does he live in Berlin, but his record label, for which he most recently recorded a Debussy album commemorating the composer’s 100th birthday, is headquartered here. Otherwise, the 29-year-old pianist travels the world, performing the many concert dates which have come his way since he won the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2015. Carnegie Hall in New York, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, plus Paris, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Seoul and Tokyo – those are merely the most prominent stations on his calendar during the past year. He also celebrated an unexpected debut with the Berlin Philharmonic when he substituted for Lang Lang, whose arm had been injured. Born in Seoul in 1994, Seong-Jin Cho gave his first public concert at the age of 11, winning the 3rd Prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the age of 17. He then went on to study with Michel Béroff in Paris, where he graduated in 2015.



“Fireworks” (2018, German Premiere)


Piano Concerto No. 2 in F-Minor Op. 21 (1830)


Symphony No. 5 in E-Minor Op. 64 (1888)

August 15, 2018 8 pm

Denis Scheck

Literary Critic and Journalist

Denis Scheck, born in Stuttgart in 1964, is a German literary critic. He has worked as a literary agent, radio editor, translator and editor (for works by Michael Chabon, Robert Stone, Harold Brodkey, Ruth Rendell, David Foster Wallace and others). He studied German literature, contemporary history and political sciences in Tübingen, Düsseldorf and at the University of Texas in Dallas. Today, he is a freelance critic and has presented the monthly book review “Druckfrisch” for the ARD and “Lesenswert” for the SWR since 2003. Among his numerous awards, the Julius Campe Prize (2015), the Hildegard von Bingen Prize for Journalism (2014), the Bavarian Television Award (2013) stand out. He also received the Hanns Joachim Friedrichs Prize’s Special Award (2012) the German Television Award (2011). He has written several non-fiction books and is currently compiling a canon of world literature which is being published in weekly instalments by SWR TV, WDR 5 and the journal Literarische Welt.

Patron of the Evening
Simon Over

The pianist and conductor Simon Over is a well-known personality in London’s musical life. The 53-year-old is not only the founder and conductor of the Parliamentary Choir; since 2015 he has also been music director at St Clement Danes, the main church of the Royal Air Force. Above all, however, he directs the Southbank Sinfonia, which he founded in 2002 and with which he has completed tours of various European and Asian countries. He is also principal guest conductor of the Southern Sinfonia in New Zealand and artistic director of the Bury Court Opera, a rural festival in Southwest London, where he has conducted diverse works ranging from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Rossini’s La Cenerentola to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. As an accompanist, Simon Over has performed with singers such as Felicity Lott, Emma Kirkby and Simon Keenlyside; he has recorded a CD of Ernest Bloch’s violin sonatas with violinist Miriam Kramer.


Ivana Gavrić

© Dave Stapleton

Born into a family of musicians in Sarajevo, the pianist Ivana Gavrić grew up in England, where she studied at the Royal College of Music and at Cambridge University. She participated in master courses with renowned teachers such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Menahem Pressler, Boris Berman and Stephen Kovacevich. For her debut album In the Mists featuring piano works by Janáček, Liszt, Schubert and Rachmaninov, the BBC Music Magazine voted her “Newcomer of the Year”. Her further albums, From the Street (Janáček, Ravel, Prokofiev), Grieg and Chopin brought Ivana Gavrić outstanding reviews. In the meantime, the pianist has performed at the KKL in Lucerne, at the Barbican Centre, the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and in other European countries as well as Canada, Japan and China. Outside the concert hall, she recorded the Chopin and Beethoven soundtrack for the BBC adaptation of The Line of Beauty and the Bach works used in the soundtrack for the movie Breaking and Entering (2006) by Anthony Minghella.



Symphony No. 31 in D-Major K. 297 “Paris Symphony” (1778)


“Between the Skies, the River and the Hills” Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2018, German Premiere)


Symphony No. 2 in D-Major Op. 36 (1803)

August 16, 2018 8 pm

Barbara Schneider-Kempf

Director General, Berlin State Library

Barbara Schneider-Kempf was born in Trier in 1954, studied architecture in Hanover and Aachen and then qualified for the senior administrative service at scientific libraries. After holding positions at the University Libraries in Hanover and Duisburg, she became director of the new-founded University Library in Potsdam in 1992. In 2002 she was appointed permanent deputy to the director general, in 2003 temporary director general and in 2004 general director of the Berlin State Library. Apart from serving on many other committees, she was a member and chairwoman of the Library Commission of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) from 1995 to 2001 and has been a board member of the FrauenMediaTurm in Cologne since 2006. Her love of music is reflected by the fact that Barbara Schneider-Kempf has been president of the Brandenburg Bach Society since 2010 and a member of the advisory council of the Mendelssohn Society in Berlin since 2011. As the concert patron for the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Barbara Schneider-Kempf has invited the entire orchestra to visit the music collection of the Berlin State Library and view an original manuscript of a symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven.


Patron of the Evening
Oksana Lyniv

© Werner Kmetitsch

The Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv, herself the daughter of two musicians, received her musical education at the music academy of her hometown in Lviv. In 2004 she won the 3rd Prize at the Gustav Mahler Conductor’s Competition of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and was thereupon appointed assistant to its chief conductor, Jonathan Nott. At the same time, she began studying at the Dresden Music Academy and was supported by the German Music Council’s “Conductors’ Forum” from 2007 to 2009. In 2013 Oksana Lyniv was appointed assistant to the general music director Kirill Petrenko at the Bavarian State Opera, where she conducted La clemenza di Tito, La traviata, Die Fledermaus and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, among others. Since the beginning of this season, the 40-year-old conductor has been chief conductor of the Graz Opera. Furthermore, last year she founded the international festival LvivMozArt in Lviv year, which was inspired by the historical work of Mozart’s son Franz Xaver in Lviv.

Valeriy Sokolov

© Simon Fowler

The 31-year-old violinist, a native of Kharkiv in the Ukraine, moved to London at the age of 13, where he studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School. In 2005 he won the International George Enescu Competition in Bucharest, followed by many invitations from orchestras in Europe and the USA, working with conductors such as Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Vladimir Ashkenazy and David Zinman. Recent concerts have included appearances with the Orchestre de Paris, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the NDR Elbphilharmonie. He is artist-in-residence this season at the Staatskapelle Weimar with its chief conductor Kirill Karabits. A passionate chamber musician, he dedicated much of 2016 to a Europe-wide tour project with the violinist Lisa Batiashvili, the cellist Gautier Capuçon and other musicians, commemorating the 100th birthday of the composer Henri Dutilleux. The music filmmaker Bruno Monsaingeon shot the film un violon dans l’âme / Natural Born Fiddler about one of Sokolov’s recitals in Toulouse in 2004.



“Slavic March” Op. 31 (1876)


Chamber Symphony No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra Op. 14 (1967, German Premiere)


“Ukrainian Poem” for Violin and Orchestra (1997, German Premiere)


Symphony No. 7 in A-Major Op. 92 (1812)

August 17, 2018 8 pm
Christine Lambrecht

© Susi Knoll

Undersecretary of State at the Federal Ministry of Finance

Christine Lambrecht was born in Mannheim in 1965 and studied law in Mannheim and Mainz, which she followed with further studies at the Speyer Academy of Administration. In 1992 she began to teach civil and commercial law at the University of Cooperative Education in Mannheim, working in adult education; since 1995 she has been in practice as an independent lawyer. Christine Lambrecht joined the SPD in 1982 and has held public offices since 1985, e.g. as a member of the Viernheim City Council and a delegate for the District Bergstraße. She has been a member of the German Parliament since 1998. From 2011 to 2013 she was Associate Chairwoman and from 2013 to 2017 Parliamentary Managing Director of the SPD; from December 2017 to March 2018 the associate leader of the SPD faction in the Bundestag, the German Parliament. In March 2018 she was appointed Undersecretary of State at the Federal Ministry of Finance. She is a member of the German Worker’s Welfare Association, of the association “Bürger und Polizei e.V.” and a founding member of the charitable association for the Women’s Shelter Bergstraße. From 2010 to 2018 Christine Lambrecht was also vice president of the helpers’ association of the THW (the German Agency for Technical Relief).  

Patron of the Evening
Kristjan Järvi

© Franck Ferville

The conductor Kristjan Järvi is one of the rather rare types of musician who are able to move between different genres with the ease of a virtuoso. Whether classical, jazz or hip hop: not least in conjunction with his various ensembles, the 45-year-old pursues a broad range of musical inclinations. Since 2012 he has been chief conductor of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig; he also continues to lead the Absolute Ensemble in New York, which he founded. Born in the Republic of Estonia as the youngest son of the Estonian conductor Neeme Järvi, the conductor is tireless in his championship of contemporary music. He has commissioned more than 100 works, including from composers such as Arvo Pärt, Tan Dun and Erkki-Sven Tüür. Steve Reich and HK Gruber are among his artistic partners, as are Anoushka Shankar, Hauschka and Marcel Khalife. So far, Kristjan Järvi has released more than 60 albums, ranging from film scores for Cloud Atlas, A Hologram for the King and Sense 8 to the eponymous series The Kristjan Järvi Sound Project.

Dudana Mazmanishvili

The Georgian pianist Dudana Mazmanishvili, born in Tbilisi in 1980, has been most successful during recent years in the USA, where she also studied at the Mannes School of Music in New York City. However, she also has close ties with Germany. After her basic education in her native Georgia, the young pianist moved to Munich to study with Elisso Virsaladze at the Music Academy there, recording her first CD for the Bavarian Radio, and has been living in Berlin for several years. The Georgian government named her “Cultural Ambassador of Georgia in Germany” in 2013; she also works as a Cultural Attaché at the Georgian Embassy in Berlin. Dudana Mazmanishvili is also at home in the German piano repertoire – she performs Bach and Beethoven as happily as Schumann, Brahms and Busoni. Furthermore, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Georgian composers are an additional focus. Her latest CD featuring works by Schumann and Revaz Lagidze was recently released.

Irakli Kiziria

Born in Georgia during the Soviet era, Irakli Kiziria, who is also active in the Duo I/Y Berlin with his techno colleague Jacoub Chakarji, is a well-known figure on Berlin’s techno scene. They have performed as DJs at the Berghain club, but are most renowned for the popular party series STAUB, which they have presented at various locations during recent years. They have also founded their own label, which has released eight techno productions so far, including the album Riflor in 2016 and I/Y 008 in 2017. Irakli Kirizia’s original career was in architecture and design; since 2001, when he moved to Germany, he has focused on music and the arts. However, visual art has had a constant presence in his musical activities.




“Valse Boston” for Piano and Strings (1996)


Piano Concerto in D-Minor BWV 1052 (1738) (arr. with electronic music)


“New York Songs” for Piano and String Orchestra (World Premiere)


"Too Hot to Handel" inspired by Handel‘s “Concerti grossi” (2018)

August 18, 2018 8 pm
Dietmar Bär

© Uwe Stratmann


Something to be proud of: Dietmar Bär, who plays the character of Freddy Schenk in the Cologne Tatort crime series, was voted the most popular TV investigator in Germany in 2014. He has played the Detective Inspector in over 70 cases since 1997 and won the German Television Award in 2000. Together with Klaus J. Behrendt, he received the Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2015 from Prime Minister Hannelore Kraft.

Dietmar Bär, a native of Dortmund, considers it of extreme importance to remain close to his people. As often as he can, the ardent fan of Borussia Dortmund mixes with the fans in the stadium in his black and yellow jersey. His daily life, however, is rather different from the rough big guy with an insatiable appetite for “currywurst” he plays in the Tatort series. Dietmar Bär loves to read, listens to all kinds of music and has developed into a gourmet with vegetarian preferences: “I am too old for cheap wine and bad food.” However, he is not too old for the various social causes he supports: Bär is a founding member of “Tatort – Straßen der Welt e.V.” which supports children’s rights in the Philippines, in Swaziland and Germany. And he supports Young Euro Classic not only as an evening patron, but also as a member of the German Association of Friends of European Youth Orchestras e.V.

Patron of the Evening
Nils Landgren

© Kai Bienert | MUTESOUVENIR

Nils Landgren is doubtlessly one of Europe’s most successful jazz musicians. Fans and observers of the 61-year-old Swede are already wondering whether his days might have more than 24 hours. Critics have nominated him as the hardest working man in show business. When “Mr. Redhorn,” the man with the red trombone, is not touring with his legendary band Funk Unit or other projects bearing his name, he works as a producer and talent scout or is found passing his know-how on to his students. In the German capital, he has made a name for himself as the artistic director of the JazzFest Berlin. It is not least his versatility which is admired in this musician, who began playing drums at the age of six and discovered the trombone for himself at 13: apart from hardcore jazz, he is devoted to Swedish folk music – or he might record romantic and idiosyncratic Christmas songs, as he did on his album Christmas With My Friends. In cooperation with Doctors without Borders, Nils Landgren’s Funk Unit supports a music education project for children and teenagers in one of the largest slums of Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi. After leading the successful “Classic meets Jazz” projects at Young Euro Classic for four years running, Nils Landgren returns in 2018 for its fourth edition.

Trombone, Vocals, Artistic Director
Janis Siegel

The name of the American vocalist Janis Siegel is intimately connected with the group Manhattan Transfer, whose member she has been since 1972. Over all these decades, she was “the voice” of such world hits as “Twilight Zone”, “The Boy from New York City” and “Chanson d’Amour”. In 1985 she founded the vocal quartet “Sing, Sing, Sing” together with Dianne Reeves, Bobby McFerrin and Jon Hendricks. In addition, Janis Siegel also pursued her solo career: her first album, Experiment in White, came out in 1981. She also began a close collaboration with the pianist Fred Hersch; even their first joint album, Short Stories, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Siegel’s album Friday Night Session (2003) explored soul jazz and blues; in Sketches of Broadway, the singer dedicated herself to lesser-known Broadway tunes. In 2016 Janis Siegel and Nils Landgren released the album Some Other Time.

Jan Lundgren

© Martin Magntorn

Jan Lundgren, born in Kristianstad in 1966, is considered Sweden’s best jazz pianist and one of the best in Europe as well. He began his training in classical music, but even in the late 1980s turned to the modern jazz style of Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans. In 1994 Lundgren released his first album, Conclusion, and one year later he founded the Jan Lundgren Trio, with which he released seven successful albums until 2003. Tours took him all over the world, including Japan and Australia. His innumerable performances in the USA were crowned by a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall entitled “Swedish Jazz Salutes the USA”. In 2007 the pianist recorded the album Mare Nostrum with Richard Galliano and Paolo Fresu for the label ACT, a release that resonated widely in Germany as well. Lundgren’s style is marked by a combination of Scandinavian folk tradition with modern jazz at classical and contemporary music.

Wolfgang Haffner

© Antje Wiech

Originally from Wunsiedel in Franconia, the percussionist Wolfgang Haffner has worked with all the great names in jazz. At the early age of 18, he became a member of Albert Mangelsdorff’s band, subsequently also playing in the big bands of Peter Herbolzheimer and Klaus Doldinger’s Passport. On the long list of important artists whom he has worked with, names such as Al Jarreau, Pat Metheny, Jan Garbarek and Till Brönner stand out, just like Konstantin Wecker, Hildegard Knef, Die Fantastischen Vier and Xavier Naidoo. He has performed regularly with Nils Landgren for many years. The 52-year-old can be heard on more than 400 albums and has toured more than 100 countries ranging from Japan to the USA, from South Africa to Brazil. His most recent albums are Kind of Cool (2015) and Kind of Spain (2017). Haffner has also made a name for himself as a producer, for example for the Icelandic band Mezzoforte and the singer Max Mutzke.

Lisa Wulff


This past year, Lisa Wulff, born in Hamburg in 1990, began playing electric bass at the age of 9, completed her studies in music education in jazz and jazz-related music in Bremen, during which she majored in E-bass and acoustic double bass, and began studying for a performance degree at the Hamburg Music Academy in 2013. Lisa Wulff is not only active as a sideman, but also as a studio musician and composer, touring with her own bands, e.g. the Lisa Wulff Quartet and takadoon. Concerts beyond the German borders have taken her all over Europe and to China. She has shared the stage with artists such as Bob Mintzer, the NDR Bigband, Trilok Gurtu, Nils Landgren, Curtis Stigers, Robbie Smith, Semino Rossi and Love Newkirk. In 2016 she received the Jazz Baltica Encouragement Award for her debut CD Encounters.

Wieland Welzel

Wieland Welzel’s profound musical soul reaches beyond the realms of any musical genre. Born in Lübeck (*1972), he became principal timpanist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1997 and has since then grown to be one of today’s internationally most sought after teachers in this field. Nevertheless he sees himself first and foremost as a musician, no matter the genre or instrument. Since the age seven Wieland dreamed of being a big band drummer from his very first drumset from pots and pans to when he received his first formal drum lesson at age nine. As it was, fate lead him to become a big band drummer of a different sort as the timpanist of a classical orchestra. His life path turned directions after winning first prize at the national music competition “Jugend musiziert“ and becoming a member of renowned youth orchestras such as the “Bundesjugendorchester” and the “European Union Youth Orchestra“. Playing music with most great conductors and soloists of our time throughout his tenure as principial timpanist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra , or being part of projects with jazz musicians like e.g. Nils Landgren and Wolfgang Haffner, or playing vibraphone in his duo “Reunion” with pianist Jacques Ammon – to be able to share inspired and soulful music making with young and old all over the world make for the elixir that keeps him ever curious and creative.

Timpani and Vibraphone
Vince Mendoza

The American Vince Mendoza is a composer, arranger and conductor, all in one person. In these fields, the 57-year-old has been among the most renowned representatives of his field. As an arranger, he has worked for stars such as Sting, Elvis Costello and Björk, all the way to John Scofield, Charlie Haden and Robbie Williams. His compositions have been recorded by the saxophone player Joe Lovano, the guitarist John Abercrombie, the percussionist Peter Erskine and the jazz pianist Joey Calderazzo. Mendoza has been nominated for a Grammy no less than 25 times, winning it six times, including in 2004 for his song “Woodstock”. In Germany he has worked mainly with the WDR Big Band;  he has composed for the Berlin Philharmonic and for the London Symphony Orchestra. He draws upon a broad range of musical experiences ranging from Bach to Henry Mancini, from Miles Davis to Igor Stravinsky.

junge norddeutsche philharmonie

© Georg Tedeschi

The junge norddeutsche philharmonie (jnp) was founded in 2010 by former members of the State Youth Orchestra of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (LJO) who wanted to continue the joy that symphonic literature had given them with a higher standard, with fellow students at the university level, thereby creating an educational platform accompanying young musicians on their way to professional careers. Today, the “young philharmonic of northern germany” is a professional network bringing together young music students from Northern Germany and young talents from that region for different projects. The musicians are supported by docents from renowned orchestras, such as the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic. After a project focusing on Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 in August 2017, the orchestra’s concerts in March 2018 focused on Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps in combination with live electronics.


© Roman Novitzky

The STEGREIF.orchester, headquartered in Berlin, is a pool of 24 musicians from various genres who are equally interested in the heritage of classical compositions and in free improvisation. The orchestra considers classical symphonies as a mere point of departure for new sound experiences. As a matter of principle, the musicians play everything by heart and forego a conductor. Complemented by choreographic elements, this concert form oscillates between re-composition and improvisation. The STEGREIF.orchester consciously leaves behind the concept of the “ideal” and “perfect” interpretation of a work, in favour of reacting to and shaping the current atmosphere in the concert hall. After explorations of Beethoven and Schubert, this spring the project #freebrahms – a re-examination of his Symphony No. 3 – followed. Apart from Berlin, it is also performed in Hamburg, Stuttgart and at the Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.


Overture: "America"


"Some other Time." Arr. Vince Mendoza, Ulf Janson und Henrik Janson




"Maria." Arr. Vince Mendoza


"The Story of My Life." Arr. Vince Mendoza


"Speak low." Arr. Vince Mendoza


"One Hand, One Heart"


"Something’s Coming." Arr. Vince Mendoza, Ulf Janson und Henrik Janson


"Mahler’s Trombone". Rearr. Juri de Marco


"Lucky to Be Me"


"A Quiet Girl." Arr. Vince Mendoza, Ulf Janson und Henrik Janson


"Wrong Not Rag." Arr. Vince Mendoza


"Thank You"


"Lonely Town"


"A Simple Song." Arr. Vince Mendoza


"Somewhere." Arr. Vince Mendoza

In cooperation with the University of the Arts Berlin and the Conservatory of Music Tianjin
August 19, 2018 11 am

Catherine Larsen-Maguire

The conductor and bassoonist Catherine Larsen-Maguire was born in Manchester, UK, and lives in Berlin. After conducting several chamber music concerts and opera performances at the Komische Oper Berlin, where she was principal bassoonist from 2002 to 2012, she has devoted herself entirely to conducting since 2012. She has worked with numerous orchestras around the world, including the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of the Sunflower Festival in Kansas, the Krasnoyarsk Chamber Orchestra, the Youth Orchestra of Bahia and the South Africa National Youth Wind Orchestra. She made her opera debut at the Komische Oper in November 2009 with the new production of Elisabeth Naske’s opera Die Rote Zora. She has conducted performances of La Bohème in Augsburg and of Don Giovanni in Nürnberg; in early 2016 she led a new production of Carmen in Southern Brazil. Catherine Larsen-Maguire regularly devotes herself to working with young people and students. She held a guest professorship in conducting at the University of the Arts Berlin and has been a professor at the Femusc Festival in Brazil, the largest music festival in Latin America, since 2013. In 2012 she was a docent and conductor for the Young Euro Classic Ensemble China-Germany, which performed in Germany and China; in 2015 she was rehearsal conductor for the Young Euro Classic Peace Orchestra.

Artistic Director


Sonata for Piano Four Hands in D-Major Op. 6 (1796-97). Allegro and Rondo. Arr. Zhang Wen


"A Moonlit Flowery Night on the Spring River." Arr. Li Xin Tong


Capriccio in B-flat-Major for Piano BWV 992 (ca. 1702; Theme and Final Variation). Arr. Wang Haoyu


Divertissement (1930)


"Wilhelm Tell" Overture (1829). Arr. Andreas Tarkmann


Concerto for Trombone (1878). Arr. Alex Vaughan


Selection from the Piano Sonatas. Arr. Alex Vaughan

New Zealand
August 19, 2018 8 pm

Mitri Sirin

Television Presenter

Mitri Sirin was born in Rheine (North Rhine-Westphalia) in 1971 and holds both German and Turkish citizenship. After graduating from secondary school, he completed his civil service and worked as a DJ in various clubs. In 1993 he moved to Berlin and was part of the founding team of the radio station KISS FM. He worked there as a presenter and music journalist until 1997. In the meantime, he also gathered first experience as a television presenter on the sequel to the popular youth show “elf99” (“Saturday”, Vox) while also producing various television documentaries about the music and nightlife scene in Berlin. He subsequently started working as a presenter and journalist for several public radio stations. Between 2005 and 2015 Mitri Sirin was engaged as a television presenter and reporter for RBB and WDR. Since 2009 Mitri Sirin has been working mainly for the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”, whose main presenter he has been since 2014. Occasionally he helps out on the “heute” shows in Mainz. He often works as a reporter and author for major events, for example the G7 Summit. His family is from Turkey, where it belongs to the Christian minority.

Patron of the Evening
Antun Poljanich

Antun Poljanich was born in Dubrovnik, Croatia. He was educated in piano, music theory and conducting in Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Graz and St. Petersburg, where he worked with several orchestras. After his return to Croatia, Antun Poljanich conducted various European orchestras, e.g. the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra (Slovenia), the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra (Croatia), the Veneto Philharmonia (Italy), the Cadaqués Symphony Orchestra (Spain) and the Miskolc Symphony Orchestra (Hungary). Since 1996 the conductor has been living in New Zealand, performing with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra. In 1998 Antun Poljanich became music director of the Auckland Youth Symphony Orchestra, with which he celebrated successful concerts in New Zealand and abroad. As the music director of St. Peter’s College in Auckland, he is responsible for several programmes, including a concert band, a symphony orchestra, chamber music, choral and vocal music. In 2005 he was awarded the St. Peter’s College Scholarship for his contributions to music education in New Zealand. In 2007 Antun Poljanich returned to conduct in his native region again, leading the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and the Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra.

Noah Rudd

Noah Rudd received his first oboe lessons at the age of nine; he currently studies at the University of Auckland in his third year. He is the principal oboe player of the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra and has worked repeatedly with professional orchestras such as the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Since 2014 Noah Rudd has been a member of the Auckland Youth Orchestra.




Presentation of the European Composer Award

Starting at second half of the concert: At the festival Young Euro Classic the Mayor of Berlin presents the European Composer Award to the most deserving candidate. The award is given in recognition of the festival’s best world premiere or German premiere. It is endowed with 5.000 euros. An 11-member audience jury determines the winner. The 2017 European Composer Award was awarded to the Portugese composer Mariana Vieira for her Work “Raíz”, a Concerto for Oboe, Clarinet, Tuba, Harp, Double Bass, Marimba and Orchestra, which had its world premiere in Berlin as part of Young Euro Classic.





“Persephone” (World Premiere)


“Cartoon” Fantasy for Oboe and Orchestra (2017, German Premiere)


“Appalachian Spring” (1945)


“Finlandia” Op. 26 (1900)

August 20, 2018 8 pm
Patricia Schlesinger


Intendant, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb)

As a journalist, Patricia Schlesinger was a reporter, editor and moderator of the ARD show Panorama at the North German Radio (NDR). She headed the ARD Studio for Southeast Asia in Singapore and was its correspondent for the USA in Washington. After returning to Germany, she became the head of the programming areas Culture and Documentaries for NRD Television. Since 2016 she has been the Intendant (General Director) of the Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb). Patricia Schlesinger’s productions have won numerous awards – including the German Film Prize, the Grimme Prize and the Television Prize, an Emmy Award and an Oscar. Patricia Schlesinger is a board member of the Free University Berlin, a member of the board of the Acting Academy “Ernst Busch” and a member of the German Committee for UNICEF. She is married and has one daughter. 

Patron of the Evening
Wayne Marshall

© Charles Best

The British conductor Wayne Marshall is no unknown entity to Berlin audiences. During recent years, he conducted Bernstein’s Candide and Weill’s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at the State Opera at the Schiller-Theater. He also conducted the Konzerthaus Orchestra and the Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSB) and appeared as the piano soloist at the Waldbühne concert of the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle. The musical career of the 57-year-old has seen many debuts during recent years, including at the Oslo Philharmonic, the Genoa Opera (West Side Story) and Dresden’s Semper Opera (The Great Gatsby). Further invitations have taken him to Vienna’s Musikverein, to Prague, San Francisco, Seoul and Taipei. During the Leonard Bernstein centennial, Wayne Marshall is conducting his works all over the world. In May 2018 he appears as an organist at a gala performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Since 2014 Marshall has been chief conductor of the WDR Funkhaus Orchestra in Cologne.

Charles Yang


At the age of three, Charles Yang received his first lessons from his mother, a violinist in the Austin Symphony Orchestra. However, the American has steadfastly refused to conform to the expectations of a classical virtuoso career – even if he did continue his studies at the Juilliard School in New York and has performed as a soloist in many European countries and in Asia. At the age of 16, Charles Yang received his first guitar and was soon playing in a rock band, developing an interest in jazz and improvisation as well. He has recently worked with the choreographer Twyla Tharp, the ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro and rock stars such as Steve Miller and Jesse Colin Young. In 2016 Yang founded the trio “Time for Three” together with violinist Nick Kendall and bass player Ranaan Meyer, an ensemble that performs music of all epochs and styles, from Bach to Brahms, Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson, in its own arrangements. This year the 28-year-old is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.



“On the Waterfront” Symphonic Suite (1955)


Concerto for Violin in D-Major Op. 35 (1945)


Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story” (1960)


Overture to “Candide” (1956)

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