© Marian Lenhard

Jens Herz

Principal percussion

In the old days, when you couldn’t watch videos on YouTube, you had to note down in your diary any orchestral concerts which were going to be broadcast on television. I used to watch them a lot. I could hardly have imagined that later I’d meet some of my TV heroes in person and make music with them. I came to my instrument through my father. He was passionately fond of playing trumpet in the local brass band. He also had an old drum kit in the attic. To me, as a child, that was of course a real draw. I too played in that brass band for years – almost grew up in it, musically. For me, being part of a whole is something special. That's why I love being an orchestral musician. In my role as percussionist, I often take centre stage in the music, but I’m also very happy to stay in the background. I never cease to be excited by the variety of percussion instruments, and their relationships with the other orchestral instruments.

Jens Herz was born in Limburg an der Lahn, and had his first percussion lessons aged ten at the Westerwald District Music School. He studied in Karlsruhe with timpani and percussion professors Hans Jörg Bayer, Jürgen Heinrich and Isao Nakamura. in 1999, after internships in Karlsruhe, Freiburg im Breisgau and Essen, he received his first permanent percussion post, responsible for the timpani, in the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra. Three years later he joined the Bonn Beethoven Orchestra as deputy first percussionist. Jens Herz has been employed by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra since 2004.