The Ungdomssymfonikerne from Norway are always a popular guest at Young Euro Classic. The young Norwegians already appeared at the Konzerthaus during the festival’s very first edition in the millennium year of 2000, and after that they returned several times to win the Berlin audience’s hearts with their Scandinavian-inflected programmes – most recently in 2015, when they performed Sibelius, Vaage and Mahler. The national Norwegian youth orchestra was founded in 1973 in order to give the country’s young, talented musicians an opportunity to gather their first experiences in a professional setting. The annual working phase lasts three to four weeks and takes place in Elverum in Southern Norway. Among the international guest conductors who have led the orchestra are such names as Andrew Manze, Andrey Boreyko, George Pehlivanian, Kristjan Järvi, Paavo Berglund and Emmanuel Krivine. Outstanding Norwegian artists, such as violinist Henning Kraggerud, pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Håvard Gimse, cellist Truls Mørk and trumpet player Ole Edvard Antonsen, have been among its prominent soloists.
Actor and Voiceover Artist
Dietmar Wunder owes his career start in the film business to the James Bond movies starring Sean Connery. Today, he is a successful actor and voiceover artist who also records audio books and works as a dialogue director. He is the German voice of the current James Bond actor Daniel Craig as well as Adam Sandler, Cuba Gooding Jr., Omar Epps and Sam Rockwell.
Wunder has won several awards for his work, including the German Voiceover Prize in 2008 for directing the dialogues of the TV series Weeds, the prize “Ohrkanus” in 2011 in the category “Best Reading for Children / Teenagers” for the audio book Chroniken der Weltensucher – Der Palast des Poseidon by Thomas Thiemeyer. At the Los Angeles Reel Film Festival in 2010 he won the “Best Supporting Actor” Award for his role in the crime thriller Not Worth A Bullet.
The Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena has had a close connection with Norway since he held the position of principal guest conductor at the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra from 2007 to 2013. Before that time, the Basque-born musician led the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra for many years. Since 2011, the 49-year-old has been chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, and tours have taken them to China and South Korea, but also to Germany and Spain. Mena is also a sought-after guest at all the great orchestras in the USA, Scandinavia and France; in May 2016 he makes his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic with a French and Spanish programme. Mena’s CD productions also frequently feature Spanish and Spanish-speaking composers; thus, he has recorded works by de Falla, Turina, Montsalvatge and Ginastera. His broad repertoire, however, also includes Russian and American composers, Viennese classicism, Stravinsky, Strauss and Messiaen.
Over the course of three decades, the Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk has not only conquered one of the foremost ranks among cellists worldwide, but also confirmed it consistently by outstanding achievements. Apart from his brilliant technique, the intensity of his interpretations is widely praised. The 55-year-old appears as a guest with the Berlin and the Vienna Philharmonic, in London, Paris and Tokyo and with the great American orchestras in New York, Boston, Cleveland and Los Angeles. Furthermore, Mørk has made a multitude of CD recordings; apart from the famous cello concertos of the 19th and 20th centuries, they feature works by Massenet, Miaskovsky, Prokofiev and the complete cello suites by Bach and Britten. Mørk has an insatiable curiosity about contemporary works: he has performed no less than 30 world premieres, including works by composers Einojuhani Rautavaara, Pavel Haas, Krzysztof Penderecki and Matthias Pintscher.
„Resurgence“ (2011, German Premiere)
Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat-Major Op. 107 (1959)
„Symphonie fantastique” op. 14 (1830)
7 pm: Pre-concert Lecture with Dr. Dieter Rexroth in the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free for ticket holders (admission at 6:45 pm)
Public music education is of great importance in Norway. One cornerstone of this is the national youth orchestra, the Ungdomssymfonikerne, who have given celebrated performances at Young Euro Classic several times already. This year, the young musicians present a surprisingly “non-Norwegian” programme – apart from the Norwegian world-class cellist Truls Mørk, who performs one of his signature works, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, at the festival. The conductor, on the other hand, is the Spaniard Juanjo Mena, who also makes his debut this spring with the Berlin Philharmonic. And the evening’s main work is Hector Berlioz’ Symphonie fantastique, which makes brilliant use of all the most romantic colours in the orchestral palette. However, the orchestra’s contemporary work was composed by a Norwegian, Ørjan Matre – whose score demands that the orchestra plays from all corners of the hall!