feat. Underground Youth Orchestra Athens and Chamber Orchestra Julius Stern of the Berlin University of the Arts
To initiate a Young Euro Classic Festival Orchestra Greece-Germany has been one of the festival’s heartfelt wishes for many years. To be able to realize it in our anniversary year, presenting Greece, the cradle of European culture and democracy, is especially joyful! The Festival Orchestra builds on the cooperation of the Julius Stern Institute for the Support of Young Musical Talent at the Berlin University of the Arts and the Underground Youth Orchestra (UYO) from Athens, both of whom initiated a pilot project last year. The idea of a joint orchestra partnership came from Costas Eliades, the artistic director of UYO. The Underground Youth Orchestra was founded in 2010 by a group of young musicians who – as the ensemble’s name implies – initially rehearsed in a cellar. Today the orchestra unites approximately 45 musicians aged 10 to 24. The Chamber Orchestra Julius Stern of the Berlin University of the Arts currently includes approximately 30 young musicians aged 12 to 19 with many different cultural backgrounds. Orchestras are spaces for intercultural encounter, where language barriers and cultural reservations are counteracted through the shared language of music – the success of such undertakings has been proven by Young Euro Classic with its bi- and multi-national youth orchestra projects for 20 years now.
Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
Stefan Zierke was born in Prenzlau on December 5, 1970. After graduating from school, he first trained as a toolmaker and travel agent. He followed this extensive vocational training with further academic studies in the field of tourism. He subsequently was appointed managing director of the Uckermark Tourism Association and the Tourism Marketing Uckermark GmbH. After joining the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), he began his political career as a member of the party’s executive committee in Brandenburg. Since 2013 he has been a member of the German Parliament and served as spokesman of the Brandenburg State Group in the SPD’s Parliamentary Group. For several years, he served on the Committee on Transportation and Tourism of the German Parliament. He was also elected chairman of the association of East German states in the SPD Parliamentary Group. Since the beginning of the current legislation period, Stefan Zierke has been Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Apart from his demanding political career, he volunteers widely. Stefan Zierke is married and has two children.
Active worldwide as a conductor and pianist, Christoph Eschenbach is indefatigable in his championing of young musical talents and has been awarded highest musical honours. Time and again, the pianist and conductor has rehearsed and performed fascinating programmes with the Festival Orchestra, whose chief conductor he has been since 2004 – their tours have regularly included Young Euro Classic. From 2010 to 2017 Eschenbach also served as the director of the National Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. The 78-year-old continues to appear on all the world’s major concert stages. Starting in September 2019, he takes up the position of chief conductor of the Konzerthaus Orchestra in Berlin. Last but not least, Eschenbach continues to perform as a piano soloist and in song recitals with the baritone Matthias Goerne. Christoph Eschenbach is a knight in the Légion d’honneur, Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, bearer of the German Cross of Merit and winner of the Leonard Bernstein Prize. In 2015 the pianist and conductor was honoured with the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize.
At the early age of 14, Nina Adlon completed her junior training at the Folkwang Academy in Essen, moving on to the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and the Music Academies in Düsseldorf and Mainz. First engagements took the soprano to the Wiesbaden State Theatre, the Bonn Opera and the Salzburg Festival. In the leading roles of the operettas Die Fledermaus, Die lustige Witwe and Gräfin Mariza, Nina Adlon has also appeared in the USA. After a maternity break, the singer celebrated her comeback in 2017 in the solo roles in the Requiems of Brahms and Verdi. In 2019 she performs with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna Boys’ Choir in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Fukushima and Vienna. The mother of six is married to the filmmaker Felix Adlon, one of the heirs of the Berlin hotelier Lorenz Adlon. In 2010 Nina Adlon played the role of the singer Anna von Mildenburg in the movie Mahler on the Couch, directed by Felix and Percy Adlon.
At the age of five, Stathis Karapanos decided to play the flute; at the age of six he was accepted for lessons at the Athens Conservatory. When he was nine, the family moved to Sofia, where Stathis continued his studies. At 16, he was accepted at the Karlsruhe Music Academy, where he graduated in July 2018 with honours. In the meantime, Stathis Karapanos has played with many ensembles in Germany and Greece, performing with such renowned conductors as Christoph Eschenbach and Christoph Poppen. In an ensemble with Martha Argerich, he participated in a performance of the Carnival of the Animals at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens. His repertoire includes the major flute works by Vivaldi, Bach, Mercadante, Reinecke and Prokofiev, but also more unknown works of the 20th century by Schulhoff, Hindemith, Jolivet and Dutilleux. Furthermore, he plays different variants of his instrument, from the traverso to the soprano and contrabass flute.
Born in 1984, the Greek pianist Fil (Triantafyllos) Liotis began his piano studies thanks to a scholarship to the Thessaloniki State Conservatory, continuing them in Germany with Alfredo Perl (piano) and Manuel Lange (song accompaniment) at the Detmold Music Academy. He subsequently studied with Kalle Randalu in Karlsruhe, where he graduated with honours. In addition to his solo performances, Fil Liotis is in demand as a chamber music and lied pianist. He has been invited to perform at the Bach Days in Halle, the Thessaloniki Piano Festival, the Santorini Arts Factory and at major concert halls in Barcelona, Salzburg, Vienna, Bucharest and Athens. In 2015 Fil Liotis won an ECHO Classic Award with an ensemble of the Detmold Chamber Orchestra for their CD recording of Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (in the chamber music version); in 2016 he was awarded the Albéniz Medal at the Festival Isaac Albéniz in Camprodon (Spain) for his interpretation of the piano suite Iberia.
The concert choir Cantus Domus has made a name for itself far beyond the confines of Berlin during the 25 years since its founding, mainly because of its unusual concert concepts. Consisting of experienced amateur singers, the chorus performs in unusual places (thus it has sung Bach’s Mass in B Minor at the Kraftwerk Berlin and Honegger’s Le Roi David at the old Kindl brewery) and occasionally includes its audiences (e.g. in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Philharmonie). In addition, the ensemble, which is led by Rolf Sochaszewsky, appears in carefully staged projects. In recent years alone, Cantus Domus has performed – in varying sizes and formations – in five different countries, cooperating with about 30 orchestras, partner choruses and bands in more than 40 appearances. For example, it staged the world premiere of the choral opera Macbeth by Frank Schwemmer in 2016. Its most recent international encounters were with Wood River from New York, Vox Humana from Oslo and the Georgian choruses Shavnabada and Tutarchela.
The conductor Ralf Sochaczewsky from Berlin studied conducting both at the Berlin University of the Arts (with Marc Piollet) and at the Music Academy Hanns Eisler (with Jörg-Peter Weigle and Rolf Reuter). Not only does he lead the chorus Cantus Domus, but also has close working relations with other ensembles, such as the Chorus of the Netherlands Radio, the Helsinki Chamber Chorus, the Choeur de Radio France and the RIAS Chamber Chorus. As an assistant conductor, Sochaczewsky works regularly with Vladimir Jurowski, for example for performances of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin. The conductor has proven his versatility by cooperating with pop formations such as Damien Rice, Stargaze and Andre de Ridder, Tocotronic, Julia Holter and Dillon. In addition, Sochaczewsky teaches choral conducting at the Music Academy Hanns Eisler.
Overture "The Creatures of Prometheus" Op. 43 (1801)
"Orpheus and Eurydice" (1762/74, excerpts)
“Zorbas Suite“ for Flute and Orchestra (arr. Achilleas Wastor and Stathis Karapanos, World Premiere)
"Greek Dances" (1931-1936)
Fantasy for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra in C Minor Op. 80 (1808)
7 pm: Pre-Concert Talk with Dieter Rexroth at the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free admission with concert ticket
At last, another bi-national Festival orchestra at Young Euro Classic! During this anniversary season, Greek and German musicians come together and form an orchestra, and none other than Christoph Eschenbach has agreed to lead the project. With its programme, the orchestra delves deep into the Greek soul: first, there is Beethoven’s overture Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus, which tells the story of the rebel of antiquity who challenged the gods. Gluck’s opera Orpheus and Eurydice also takes us back to mythical times, and even without its soloists, it offers touching moments for chorus and orchestra. A bit closer to our own times are the Greek Dances by Nikos Skalkottas, who was a student of Arnold Schoenberg in Berlin. Pure Grecian soul shines through Mikis Theodorakis’ music for the film Zorba the Greek, which is performed in a new version in the form of a flute concerto on this evening. Finally, Beethoven’s great Choral Fantasy rounds out the programme of this unusually intriguing concert!