As the final highlight of its 18-day season in 2015, Young Euro Classic initiates a new orchestra uniting young German, Ukrainian, Armenian and Russian musicians as a signal of peace and understanding for the future. The 73 musicians will travel to the German capital from Kiev, St. Petersburg, and Yerevan and meet there with their German colleagues. They will gain familiarity with their own culture and that of their new colleagues, meeting at eye level, working jointly on a concert programme and thus growing into one ensemble which will perform Beethoven’s highly symbolic 9th Symphony at Berlin’s Konzerthaus. This concert forms the crowning finale of the festival Young Euro Classic. Since its founding in 2000, Young Euro Classic has considered it one of its most important tasks to enable and develop intercultural dialogue through encounters between young orchestra musicians from different nations as part of the festival. Such orchestras stand for a shared determination to join forces, for open-minded encounters, for communal efforts to reach a goal. This is particularly true when encounters and communal experiences are difficult or impossible on the political level. An orchestra seen and heard with this background in mind has a high symbolic value as a beacon of idealism. The German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has already agreed to act as patron for the entire project.
As one of the outstanding conductors of our times, Enoch zu Guttenberg has explored music in a way which has shaken audiences and critics alike and brought him international renown. Enoch zu Guttenberg has conducted the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the NDR Symphony Orchestra, the German Radio Philharmonic Saarbrücken, the MDR Symphony Orchestra and the Nouvelle Orchestre Philharmonique Paris, among many others. However, it is two ensembles in particular who implement Guttenberg’s artistic idea and musical-philosophical beliefs as common goals: the Choral Association Neubeuern, which he has directed since 1967, and the Orchestra KlangVerwaltung (literally, “SoundAdministration”), whose artistic director he has been since 1997. For Enoch zu Guttenberg and the ensembles he directs, a symbiosis of profound knowledge of the historical performance practice of the work in question, the absolute and binding focus on content and the emotionality that is its outcome are the basis of all their interpretations. Guttenberg celebrated great success with the Choral Association Neubeuern and the KlangVerwaltung not only at all the major national festivals, but also at Vienna’s Musikverein, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Hong Kong Music Festival and the Beijing Music Festival as well as in St. Martin in the Fields in London. One of the highlights was a performance of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem in honour of Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in 2010. Since 2000 Enoch zu Guttenberg has been the artistic director of the International Herrenchiemsee Festival. Although music has always been the centre of his activities and creativity, he is also known as an insistent warner and visionary in environmental issues and as a successful supporter of cultural cooperation between East and West.
Originally from Munich, the soprano Susanne Bernhard started studying with Angelica Vogel and Helmut Deutsch at the Munich Music Academy in 1995. She made her debut as Susanne in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at Munich’s Prinzregententheater in 1997. At the age of only 23, she became an ensemble member at the Kiel Opera House, followed by engagements at the Frankfurt Opera and the Semperoper in Dresden. Apart from her activities as an opera singer, Susanne Bernhard devotes herself to song recitals, oratorio and concert appearances. Her diverse activities in this field have led her to cooperate with the Georgian Chamber Orchestra, the Ensemble Ader Paris, the Neue Hofkapelle Munich, the Russian National Orchestra, the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele and the Stuttgarter Bachakademie, in addition to Enoch zu Guttenberg’s KlangVerwaltung. She made a guest appearance with the WDR Symphony Orchestra under Semyon Bychkov. In addition, she has been heard at such prestigious festivals and venues as the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw, the Berlin Philharmonic and Cologne Philharmonic and the Alte Oper Frankfurt.
Seda Amir-Karayan was born in Yerevan, Armenia. She first studied jazz vocals at the State Conservatory in Yerevan; at the same time she made a name for herself as a soloist in Armenian sacred music. In 2011 she completed a master’s degree in musicology in Yerevan. Since then she has been studying singing in Stuttgart, with a focus on oratorio and art songs. Seda Amir-Karayan is also a sought-after concert contralto: in 2012 she was the soloist in the Misa Tango in several performances in Argentina. That same year, she sang the major solo part in the world premiere of Robert Amirkhanyan’s oratorio 7 Songs About Love and Peace. She also appeared in Paulus under the baton of Helmuth Rilling at the Musikfest Stuttgart and at the Rheingau Music Festival. The Bachakademie Stuttgart then engaged her as contralto soloist for the 2014 Bach Week. She has also performed in concert at the Philharmonic in Cologne and at the Philharmonic and Konzerthaus in Berlin. For the academic year of 2014/15 she has received a “Germany Scholarship”.
Raised in an Ukrainian-German family, Alexander Schulz-Kulischenko was born in Berlin and studied at the Odessa National Music Academy from 1995 to 2004. In 2003 he was a member of the opera studio of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf. From 2004 to 2007 he was a member of the Dresden Chamber Opera. In 2008 he became a laureate of the International Vocal Competition Shtokolov in St. Petersburg and made his debut at the Odessa National State Opera and later at the Lviv National State Opera (Ukraine), where he was engaged for the next several years. His repertoire includes leading roles such as Cavaradossi (Tosca), Alfredo (La traviata), Calaf (Turandot), Manrico (Il Trovatore), as well as Canio (Pagliacci), Duca (Rigoletto) and Radames (Aida). He has performed as a guest at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, the National Opera in Riga and the Prague State Opera as well as the Estonian National Opera.
Mischa Schelomianski grew up in Moscow, where he studied at the Academy for Culture, continuing his studies at the Frankfurt Academy of Music and Performing Arts. He made his operatic debut in Dortmund. Since then his career has taken him to many companies throughout Germany and the rest of Europe, including Baden-Baden, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Bonn, Cologne, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Geneva, Bern, Strasbourg, Lyon, Paris and Toulouse. Since 2008 he has been a regular guest at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He has worked with conductors including Vladimir Jurowski, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Ingo Metzmacher, Marc Albrecht and Kent Nagano and with such directors as Graham Vick, Nikolaus Lehnhoff, Peter Konwitschny, Harry Kupfer and Francesca Zambello. He has appeared in concert at the Rheingau Musikfestival, Musikhalle Hamburg, Glocke Bremen, Philharmonie Berlin, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Tonhalle Zürich, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Philharmonie München, with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and in Stuttgart, Maastricht, Gothenburg, The Hague, Amsterdam and in the USA at the Oregon Bach Festival.
The Choir of the KlangVerwaltung was founded by Enoch zu Guttenberg in 2000 and unites professionally experienced young singers, members of the Munich Philharmonic Choir, the Bavarian Radio Choir, the CollegiumVocale Ghent and other renowned vocal ensembles among them. Thus, an adequate vocal ensemble was created to complement the highly virtuosic Orchestra of the KlangVerwaltung. Even the first performances at the 2000 Bachfest at Herrenchiemsee fulfilled the expectations of the new ensemble, as documented by the acclaim in the press. Since 2001 the choir has performed regularly under Enoch zu Guttenberg at the Herrenchiemsee Festival. The opening concert on the island of Frauenchiemsee featuring Bach Cantatas has become a fixed tradition. However, the Choir of the KlangVerwaltung has made a name for itself not only at the Herrenchiemsee Festival. Its live recording of Beethoven’s Missa solemnis from Munich’s Herkulessaal has been released on CD. 2012 was dedicated entirely to Beethoven: the choir performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Regensburg, Nuremberg, Berlin and twice at the Herrenchiemsee Festival; the work was again performed in 2014 in Munich, Wiesbaden and Bad Kissingen.
Symphony No. 9 in D-Minor Op. 125 (1824)
7 pm: Pre-concert Lecture in the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free for ticket holders (admission at 6:45 pm)
Moderation: Dr. Dieter Rexroth, Artistic Director of Young Euro Classic
In cooperation with the Körber Foundation.
An initiative of Young Euro Classic, this orchestra is founded in response to current political events and as a symbol of peaceful cooperation and international understanding.
Beethoven’s Ninth is more than a symphony. It is utopian and visionary in equal measure, a ritual that no one who wishes to leave the sphere of the ordinary and move into that of the sublime – what an old-fashioned yet appropriate word! – can ignore. Beethoven’s pathos combined with Schiller’s verse – historically, the effect of this combination has been immense. In today’s consciousness, the “Ode to Joy” has taken root since 1972 mainly as the “Anthem of Europe”. Since then, it has been played from the Baltic States to the Irish Sea and the Algarve in honour of Europe; thus, it has long lost any “German character” that might have been ascribed to it, in favour of supranational connotation and meaning.