Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra

© Axel Nickolaus

Since its founding in 1987 by Leonard Bernstein, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra has enjoyed an outstanding reputation. From among 1,500 applicants all over the world, about 110 young musicians are selected every year to participate in the seven-week Orchestra Academy, the centrepiece of the pedagogical work of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, where they work on great orchestral literature with famous conductors. The works are prepared in sectional rehearsals and then rehearsed intensively during the full orchestral sessions. In addition to Principal Conductor Christoph Eschenbach, conductors like Kent Nagano, Iván Fischer, Michael Sanderling, Manfred Honeck, Krzysztof Urbanski, Vladimir Jurowski and many others work with the Festival Orchestra regularly. Tours have taken the orchestra to the European music metropolises, to the USA and China. Every summer, the Festival Orchestra is constituted anew.

August 20, 2018 8 pm

Konzerthaus, Berlin

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)

7 pm: Pre-Concert Talk with Dieter Rexroth at the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free admission for ticket holders at 6:45 pm


The SHFO looks back upon 30 successful years since its founding by the legendary Leonard Bernstein in 1987. And since the founding of Young Euro Classic, hardly a festival has gone by without this Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra! While the orchestra performed at the festival’s opening last year, this time the crowning finale on August 20 is reserved for the young musicians from all over the world. Of course the orchestra celebrates its founder on the occasion of his 100th birthday – and the celebration is threefold. In addition to the snappy Candide Overture, it plays the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and the film score to On the Waterfront. Lenny would certainly also have liked the fourth work: the Violin Concerto by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, written during his exile in Hollywood, performed by the 28-year-old soloist Charles Yang, who easily transcends any barrier between classical music, jazz and improvisation.

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