The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and Junge Deutsche Philharmonie are collaborating closely, starting in the 2015/2016 season. The initiative is down to Bamberg’s outgoing Principal Conductor, Jonathan Nott, who since 2014 has also been Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie. The two orchestras’ cooperation is organisational and practical, and covers three areas. Each year, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie holds one of its intensive rehearsal periods in Bamberg’s Concert Hall. Not only does this offer the Philharmonie ideal working conditions, in Bavaria’s finest concert hall; leading Bamberg Symphony members also coach the young players during the rehearsals. Finally, each year the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie gives a public concert in Bamberg. “It’s one of the best things our Orchestra can do,” says Marcus Rudolf Axt, Managing Director of the Bamberg Symphony, “giving a platform to Germany’s top training orchestra. For young musicians, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie is the surest springboard to a professional orchestral career. We don’t just see our mentorship as a symbolic gesture, we try to make it very practical: it forms a prominent part of the Bamberg Symphony’s education programme, which forges links between our orchestra and young people from kindergarten to vocational training.“ Christian Fausch, general manager of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, points to the orchestra’s successful coaching by Bamberg players in the run-up to Jonathan Nott’s debut with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie in March 2013, adding: “Developing and deepening this cooperation is sustainable, in the truest sense of the word.“
The two orchestras have grown close in several ways. Not only are four members of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie currently enrolled in the Bamberg Symphony’s Orchestra Academy; their joint history goes back forty years, to the very beginnings of the Philharmonie. “I’m forever grateful to the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie,“ says Christian Dibbern, who represents fellow-players on the Bamberg Symphony’s board, and was a founding member of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie in 1974. “My three years there not only enriched me musically, they fundamentally formed my idea of what it means to be an orchestral player. It’s thanks to what I learned during those years that I now represent my colleagues at management level. In the four decades since it was founded, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie has become an outstanding orchestra with a unique constitution. It was a logical next step for the Bamberg Symphony to mentor these young musicians on their path to professionalism – and it’s something we’re all really looking forward to.“ His enthusiasm for the cooperation is shared by Miriam Schmaderer, spokesperson for the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie’s player-representatives: “For our orchestra members, it’s incredibly important to get the inside track on the orchestral scene. The Bamberg Symphony and Junge Deutsche Philharmonie are both so passionate and open-minded about their work, they’re made for each other. This partnership is a fantastic opportunity to work intensively with the Bambergers and benefit from their experience.“
The mentorship scheme will continue after Jonathan Nott’s contract in Bamberg ends in 2016. It was launched during the “40 Years of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie“ celebrations at Frankfurt’s Alte Oper on 13 October 2014, when Jonathan Nott took up the post of Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, succeeding Lothar Zagrosek who had held it since 1995.