Southbank Sinfonia

Founded in 2002 by Simon Over, the Southbank Sinfonia is made up of 33 young and highly talented musicians: an orchestral academy which aims not only to convey experience in orchestral playing, but also offers courses designed to train communication and leadership skills. Funded by foundations and other private donors, the Southbank Sinfonia offers all its musicians one-year scholarships. During this period, the instrumentalists also play chamber music, opera and dance performances, often in cooperation with renowned organizations such as the Royal Opera or the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. This season, the Southbank Sinfonia will perform in a new production of the musical Amadeus by Peter Shaffer. During earlier seasons, the orchestra was featured in the play Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by Tom Stoppard/Andre Previn. The Southbank Sinfonia has its home at St. John’s Waterloo in the heart of London, where it offers regular Rush Hour Concerts.

August 15, 2018 8 pm

Konzerthaus, Berlin

Denis Scheck

Literary Critic and Journalist

Denis Scheck, born in Stuttgart in 1964, is a German literary critic. He has worked as a literary agent, radio editor, translator and editor (for works by Michael Chabon, Robert Stone, Harold Brodkey, Ruth Rendell, David Foster Wallace and others). He studied German literature, contemporary history and political sciences in Tübingen, Düsseldorf and at the University of Texas in Dallas. Today, he is a freelance critic and has presented the monthly book review “Druckfrisch” for the ARD and “Lesenswert” for the SWR since 2003. Among his numerous awards, the Julius Campe Prize (2015), the Hildegard von Bingen Prize for Journalism (2014), the Bavarian Television Award (2013) stand out. He also received the Hanns Joachim Friedrichs Prize’s Special Award (2012) the German Television Award (2011). He has written several non-fiction books and is currently compiling a canon of world literature which is being published in weekly instalments by SWR TV, WDR 5 and the journal Literarische Welt.

Patron of the Evening
Simon Over

The pianist and conductor Simon Over is a well-known personality in London’s musical life. The 53-year-old is not only the founder and conductor of the Parliamentary Choir; since 2015 he has also been music director at St Clement Danes, the main church of the Royal Air Force. Above all, however, he directs the Southbank Sinfonia, which he founded in 2002 and with which he has completed tours of various European and Asian countries. He is also principal guest conductor of the Southern Sinfonia in New Zealand and artistic director of the Bury Court Opera, a rural festival in Southwest London, where he has conducted diverse works ranging from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Rossini’s La Cenerentola to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. As an accompanist, Simon Over has performed with singers such as Felicity Lott, Emma Kirkby and Simon Keenlyside; he has recorded a CD of Ernest Bloch’s violin sonatas with violinist Miriam Kramer.


Ivana Gavrić

© Dave Stapleton

Born into a family of musicians in Sarajevo, the pianist Ivana Gavrić grew up in England, where she studied at the Royal College of Music and at Cambridge University. She participated in master courses with renowned teachers such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Menahem Pressler, Boris Berman and Stephen Kovacevich. For her debut album In the Mists featuring piano works by Janáček, Liszt, Schubert and Rachmaninov, the BBC Music Magazine voted her “Newcomer of the Year”. Her further albums, From the Street (Janáček, Ravel, Prokofiev), Grieg and Chopin brought Ivana Gavrić outstanding reviews. In the meantime, the pianist has performed at the KKL in Lucerne, at the Barbican Centre, the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and in other European countries as well as Canada, Japan and China. Outside the concert hall, she recorded the Chopin and Beethoven soundtrack for the BBC adaptation of The Line of Beauty and the Bach works used in the soundtrack for the movie Breaking and Entering (2006) by Anthony Minghella.



Symphony No. 31 in D-Major K. 297 “Paris Symphony” (1778)


“Between the Skies, the River and the Hills” Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2018, German Premiere)


Symphony No. 2 in D-Major Op. 36 (1803)

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


If any city can keep up with Berlin in musical terms, surely it is London! Between the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic and the legendary Proms, the Southbank Sinfonia is a particularly interesting musical product of that metropolis. 33 young musicians from all over the world receive a one-year scholarship to throw themselves into all aspects of music – from concertizing to professional music PR and leadership qualities. Under the baton of its chief conductor Simon Over, the Southbank Sinfonia now makes its Young Euro Classic debut, and the programme is tailored to the smaller orchestral formation: the musicians offer two classical symphonies by Mozart and Beethoven as bookends for a new Piano Concerto which the sought-after British composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad has written especially for the orchestra and the pianist Ivana Gavrić. 



The concert will be streamed LIVE and ON DEMAND on ARTE CONCERT:

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