The Bamberg Symphony on Youtube
On 30 September 2016 Jakub Hrůša inaugurated the season 2016/2017 as our new Chief Conductor. He conducted, among other works, Gustav Mahler's First Symphony. Michael Wende has captured excerpts of the inaugural evening in a short video.
On March 19, 2016, the eve of the Bamberg Symphony's 70th anniversary, the annual Benefit Concert of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany took place in Bamberg's concert hall. Under the baton of Jonathan Nott the orchestra performed works that were landmarks in the Bohemian history of the Bamberg Symphony: the overture of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's »Don Giovanni«, world-premiered in 1787 in Prague's Estates Theatre by the orchestra that was a forerunner of today's Bamberg Symphony, Bedřich Smetana's »From Bohemia's Woods and Fields« as well as Gustav Mahler's 7th symphony, first performed in 1908 under the composer's direction by the New German Theatre Orchestra, the pre-predecessor of the Bamberg Symphony. [watch video here]
In March 2016, Christian Uhlig potrayed the Bamberg Symphony - and found that managing an orchestra is not only about fine music. It's also hard economic facts and figures. A report by Deutsche Welle.
The circumstances of its birth make the Bamberg Symphony a mirror to German history. In 1946 former members of Prague's German Philharmonic met fellow musicians who had also been obliged to flee their homes. In Bamberg they founded a new orchestra: the Bamberg Symphony. Over the decades, the members of the Orchestra changed, but its »bohemian sound« lasted. As a traditional touring Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony has been travelling all around the globe and has performed in the world's most prominent venues. In May 2014, however, they set out for a concert in a very special place – the one they came from: Prague.
Paul Dukas's »The Sorcerer's Apprentice« is a congenial musical realization of Johann Wolfgang Goethe's ballad and one of the most famous - and most brilliantly orchestrated - pieces for large orchestra. Film-makers Michael Wende and Andreea Varga have shortened Dukas's work to the essential moments and created a video in the style of the movies of the twenties.
In June 2013, the young Israeli conductor Lahav Shani won the 1st prize at the Bamberg Symphony Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition. Only a few months later, he stepped in for a concert with the Bamberg Symphony that Gustavo Dudamel - 1st prize winner of the Competition in 2004 - had to cancel.
In September 2013, the Bamberg Symphony and violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja were artists in residence of the Beethovenfest Bonn. Together, they performed Beethoven's concerto for violin and orchestra D major op. 61, conducted by Jonathan Nott.
On 1 July 2014, the Bamberg Symphony and Manfred Honeck performed Ludwig van Beethoven's Seventh Symphony at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. Here are some excerpts.
In September 2015, the Bamberg Symphony announced that Jakub Hrůša would become their next Chief Conductor from autumn 2016. »I am truly delighted to become Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony«, says Jakub Hrůša. »Even before I had a chance to conduct this jewel among European orchestras, I had been a huge admirer. They are an embodiment of orchestral culture, with everything imagined by this term. And with the Orchestra having its origins in Prague, we breathe the same musical air, sharing our cultural backgrounds, being artistically and historically very close. With the Bamberg Symphony, every phrase can turn to be a little miracle, and every concert is a transfiguration.« In November 2015, he gave his first concert as Chief Conductor Designate when Michael and Andreea Wende made this portrait.
In the summer 2015, the Bamberg Symphony played Smetana's »Má Vlast« at Herrenchiemsee Castle. The conductor was Jakub Hrůša who, at that time, had already conducted the Orchestra in three concerts before. In September 2015 he was appointed Chief Conductor Designate of the Bamberg Symphony. From autumn 2016, Jakub Hrůša will assume musical direction of the Orchestra. He will be the fifth Chief Conductor in the history of the Bamberg Symphony.
In May 2015, the members of »The Management Symphony« - managers, board members, lawyers, management consultants, university professors or chief executives - met in Bamberg. Under the baton of Jonathan Nott, principal conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, they rehearsed and performed in a public concert Gustav Mahler's 1st symphony. For a few days, they have exchanged laptops and mobile phones for violins, cellos or clarinets. Film-makers Michael Wende and Andreea Varga have accompanied them during the rehearsals.
Bamberg is »Slamberg« – a centre of Poetry Slam. Furthermore, in 2014 the music world celebrated the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss. Why not bring tone poetry and poetry slam together? So, in September 2014, three nation-wide known poetry slammers competed with each other on the stage of the Bamberg concert hall. Their topic: »An Alpine Symphony« by Richard Strauss.
On 31 December 2013, the Bamberg Symphony played two concerts almost at the same time - on two continents! While one half of the orchestra stayed in Bamberg for the traditional New Year's Eve concert, the other half performed the official Chinese New Year's concert in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.
In September 2013 the Bamberg Symphony was Orchestra in residence of the Beethovenfest Bonn. The Orchestra confronted Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 3, 5 and 9 and his Violin Concerto with Lutoslawski's 3rd Symphony and Schoenberg's Piano Concerto op. 42.
On 8 September 2014 the Bamberg Symphony performed Helmut Lachenmann's »Ausklang« at the Musikfest Berlin. The soloist was Pierre-Laurent Aimard. In this interview he talks about Lachenmann's »piano concerto«.
»The world needs no conductors!« A provocative claim of the animated figure of a baton-designer who is following 12 young conductors from all over the world, gathered 10 days in Bamberg to win the world's most prestigious conducting competition: The Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition. Do the candidates of the competition share this opinion? The conductor's job is like no other one worldwide. It's the art of creating music just with your hands - a miracle that no one can really explain. »The Baton« is a subtle and humorous documentary about the big mystery and magic of music.
With »The Baton« the young director Michael Wende has created not only a documentary of the Bamberg Symphony Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, but »one of the most original movies about classical music in a long time« (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).
The movie has been awarded several international prizes and is available in every music store.