Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

After its celebrated performance at Berlin’s Philharmonie as a pre-opening of Young Euro Classic 2015, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra returns to Berlin for a second performance. The orchestra was founded in 2012 by Benjamin Zander and cooperates closely with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the city’s second orchestra (next to the famous Boston Symphony Orchestra). The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra includes high school and college students aged 12 to 21 and celebrated its debut in November 2012 at the legendary Symphony Hall in Boston. This was followed in 2013 by a tour of the Netherlands and in 2015 by a tour through Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. In June 2017 the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra travelled South America, performing in Peru, Uruguay and Argentina. The symphonies of Gustav Mahler play an important part in its repertoire, but also great orchestral works of the French and Russian tradition.

June 14, 2018 8 pm

Konzerthaus, Berlin

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)


This prelude to Young Euro Classic 2018 is designed to whet the listener’s appetite: as in 2015, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra performs a pre-opening of the festival, and expectations of the young musicians from the East Coast of the USA are running high. After all, this youth orchestra under its experienced conductor Benjamin Zander has made an excellent name for itself within a short period of time. Once again, Zander has put together a highly intelligent programme, featuring works by the English composer George Butterworth, the Frenchman Maurice Ravel and the Austrian Gustav Mahler, all written in the short period between 1910 and 1920. The centrepiece is Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, a fascinating farewell to life. Played by a youth orchestra whose entire future lies ahead of it and conducted by a renowned Mahler expert such as Benjamin Zander – this is bound to be a breath-taking concert!

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