Last year it turned 50, but there is absolutely no sign of failing energy or creativity: 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. 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 performances with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra to last year’s programme featuring film music from the silent movie era to the present. Diversity is key: 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 orchestra presents compositions from all epochs, including contemporary works and world premieres. The BJO has long become one of Germany’s most important cultural ambassadors, as its recent concert tours to Ukraine (2017), India (2018) and South Africa (2019) demonstrate. Since 2013 the Berlin Philharmonic has been the patron orchestra of the Bundesjugendorchester, holding joint rehearsals, master courses and concerts.
2015 was a decisive year for Elias Grandy: at the time, he won the International Conducting Competition “Sir Georg Solti“ in Frankfurt, which opened the doors to a promising career. He was also appointed the new General Music Director at the Heidelberg Opera, at the age of only 34, a position he still holds. 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. In Heidelberg, Grandy most recently conducted premieres of Verdi’s Rigoletto, Puccini‘s Madama Butterfly and Janácek’s Katya Kabanova; at the Frankfurt Opera he conducted Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe by Frederick Delius. Grandy has also been invited to conduct in Japan and the USA.
Leonore Overture No. 3 Op. 72 (1806)
“A Requiem in Our Time” Op. 3 (1953)
Symphony No. 9 in E-minor Op. 95 “From the New World” (1893)
More than once, the National Youth Orchestra of Germany (BJO) has demonstrated at Young Euro Classic that it takes supreme joy in experimenting. However, it has no trouble being highly serious in classical symphonic repertoire either, as last proven in 2019, when it performed Brahms’ Second Symphony. Here as everywhere, the brilliant talent of the assembled winners of the competition “Jugend musiziert” merges with youthful enthusiasm, producing unforgettable results. Thus, we can’t wait to find out what the BJO’s musicians make of Dvořák’s popular Ninth Symphony “From the New World” this summer. The concert opener, Beethoven’s Third Leonore Overture, is no less famous; the remaining work, on the other hand, is a true rarity: A Requiem in Our Time, written by the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara when he was only 25, made him instantly famous in 1953, and not just because of its unusual instrumentation of brass and percussion.
The concert is recorded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur and broadcasted on August 10, 2021 at 20:03 nationwide – via FM, DAB +, Kabel, online and app.
The concert will be streamed via ARTE CONCERT and will be available from August 10, 2021 via REPLAY: arteconcert.com