The Critical Orchestra® celebrates its 20th anniversary

Kritisches Orchester® 2019, Lothar Strauss und Filip Paluchowski © Simon Pauly

For the 20th edition of the Critical Orchestra®, professional orchestral musicians from all over Germany will come together at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin from 14 to 17 March to rehearse with young international conducting talents on a voluntary basis and give them feedback. 
The 12 conductors will work with the orchestra in three rounds. Those who pass before the orchestra win more rehearsal time with this unusual ensemble in the next round. The artistic director is Prof. Lothar Strauss, 1st concertmaster of the Staatskapelle Berlin. The final on 17 March 2024 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Krönungskutschen-Saal in the Neuer Marstall is open to the public and admission is free.

►To the anniversary magazine of the Critical Orchestra®

Since 2016, the organisation and implementation of this special funding programme has been in the hands of the German Music Council's Conducting Forum in cooperation with the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin. This year, 103 conductors applied to take part in the programme via video. The jury from the ranks of the Critical Orchestra with Prof. Lothar Strauss, Elsa Claveria, Raimund Eckertz (strings) as well as Juan Pechuan-Ramirez and Hannah Hockauf (winds) selected and invited 12 conductors:
Eduardo Browne, Simon Edelmann, Seonggeun Kim, Paul Taubitz, Fanye Yuan, Samuel Agustín Aguirre Guerra, Marco Crispo, Kinga Głowacka, Orr Guy, Maria Keller, Bernat Gerard Quetglas Torelló and Philipp Schneider.

In the anniversary edition, conductor Prof. Christian Ehwald returns to the project as a mentor for the candidates and to the university where the Eisler alumnus led the conducting training from 2002 to 2023. He has been closely involved with the Critical Orchestra programme since its beginnings and will once again act as an honorary mentor to prepare the conductors in piano rehearsals and analyse the orchestral rehearsals with them afterwards.

Anniversary edition
The idea of the Critical Orchestra® goes back to Klaus Harnisch, former project manager of the Conducting Forum and a graduate of the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin. In 2002, he founded the Critical Orchestra together with the then Rector of the Eisler, Prof Christhard Gössling. Prof. Lothar Strauß has been Artistic Director of the Critical Orchestra® since 2014: "It must be due to the special working atmosphere that every year new conductors engage with honest and emphatic opinions directly from the musicians and that they in turn volunteer their free time for three days every year, but above all with curiosity."

Professor Andrea Tober, President of the School, continues to support this major orchestral project: "We at the Eisler are proud that we have been able to support the Critical Orchestra from the very beginning with its organisation and implementation. When we look at the enormous number of people involved, it becomes clear how extensive and sometimes organisationally challenging this largely voluntary project is."

Das Jubiläumsmagazin des Kritischen Orchesters® finden Sie hier.

Gefördert von der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.