Dr. Eleonore Büning has been writing about music since the late 1980s. She worked for the taz, the Weltoche, the Rheinischer Merkur as well as for the radio. In 1994 she became music editor for the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT, and from 1997 to 2017 she has been music editor for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In addition, Eleonore Büning has been active since 2011 as chairman of the award for German record critics.
The Philharmonic Orchestra was founded on April 8, 1889 under the name “Städtisches Orchester”. This point in time initially marks the integration of the orchestra into the municipal administration. Even before that, the musical culture in Heidelberg is very much alive.
At the beginning there is a “music association”, which has been documented since 1812 and which essentially consists of amateur musicians. As the “Heidelberg City Orchestra”, the orchestra received municipal subsidies from 1839 onwards. The work of the municipal orchestra consists mainly of light music in the first few years. This changes due to the commitment of the first important conductor, Philipp Wolfrum, who, as the founder and conductor of the Heidelberg Bach Choir, had played with the orchestra for many years. In parallel to Wolfrum as the then university music director, Paul Radig works as the municipal music director.
In the Wolfrum era, Heidelberg was a stronghold of contemporary music and the municipal orchestra was an influential institution in music history: Richard Strauss Days were held as early as 1893. In 1901 Jean Sibelius experienced his first international success at the Heidelberger Tonkünstlerfest of the Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein when he conducted two legends from the “Lemminkäinen Suite” in a festival concert. In 1913 there was a Heidelberg Music Festival entirely focused on Johann Sebastian Bach and Max Reger. The city music director Kurt Overhoff brought a new break in concert life, taking over the management of the symphony concerts in 1931 and assigning the orchestra to new responsibilities in the years to come. Overhoff had to give up his activity in 1940 due to illness. During the Second World War, Heidelberg’s musical life was sustained primarily by well-known guest conductors.
As early as August 1945 Hermann Meinhard Poppen was able to reintroduce the concert series of the city and the Bach society with the municipal orchestra, which was partly made up of local forces, and the Bach Society in the castle courtyard. The appointment of music director Fritz Henn then brings the full reintroduction of concert and opera operations and also increases the number of permanent positions considerably.
There was a continuous upward trend in 1954 with the appointment of Karl Rucht as director of the municipal orchestra. Rucht, former solo trumpeter of the Berlin Philharmonic, is already General Music Director of the Palatinate Orchestra Ludwigshafen and is now taking over the Heidelberg Municipal Orchestra as the second orchestra in a leading position. He uses his dual position to enable close cooperation between the two orchestras and to be able to perform large-scale works in this way. The collaboration between the Pfalzorchester Ludwigshafen and the Städtisches Orchester Heidelberg lasted until 1960.
After the Karl Rucht era, Hans Blümer, 1st Kapellmeister of the Städtische Bühne, took over the management of the orchestra for a year. He took on this task with great dedication in 1960-61 and 1972-73, so that the interim years never seemed like temporary arrangements. In the following years Kurt Brass, Christian Süss and Gerhard Schäfer led the municipal orchestra. Under Christian Süss, the first educational offers are set up: concerts for children and adults as well as concert rehearsals open to the public, which are also attended by school classes.
Born in Switzerland, Mario Venzago took over the management of the orchestra in 1986. His work as a conductor, pianist and accompanist as well as a composer shows a lively musical diversity. Venzago’s wide-ranging programs of symphony and serenade concerts met with great interest and applause from the audience. He succeeds in increasing the orchestra by 8 positions. Mario Venzago has been honorary conductor of the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra since 2007.
For the 1994/95 and 2006/07 seasons, the orchestra was awarded the prize for the “best concert program” by the German Association of Music Publishers. Concert tours have taken the orchestra to the Cologne Philharmonic, Antwerp and Ravenna in recent years. The concerts are regularly recorded by Deutschlandfunk and SWR. The Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra is characterized by its stylistic flexibility. Since 2006 the Philharmonic has been dealing with historical performance practice as part of the Winter Festival in Schwetzingen. The commitment to new music has a long tradition: several works were premiered by the Philharmonic Orchestra and are dedicated to it. Since 2005 the orchestra has been working intensively with an annually changing »composer for Heidelberg«. Music education is of particular importance. A family concert series is supplemented by piccolo and children’s concerts as well as a youth concert. In addition, the orchestra members are involved in schools and kindergartens and are often guests there. The youth project “Rap it Like Heidelberg” was awarded 1st prize in the competition for the “Tag der Musik 2010” from the German Music Council in 2010. In addition, the members of the orchestra regularly present themselves in changing formations in chamber concerts.
From 2005 to 2012 the now internationally acclaimed Cornelius Meister led the Philharmonic Orchestra in the position of General Music Director of the City of Heidelberg. He will be succeeded by GMD Yordan Kamdzhalov until 2014. Elias Grandy has been General Music Director of the Philharmoniker and the City of Heidelberg since the 2015 | 16 season. Today, the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra, in unity with the Heidelberg City Theater under Artistic Director Holger Schultze, is an integral part of Heidelberg’s musical life and enriches the cultural scene in many ways.
Gerold Huber studied piano under Friedemann Berger at the Musikhochschule in Munich and attended Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s lied class in Berlin. In 1998 he was awarded the Prix International Pro Musicis with Christian Gerhaher. Gerold Huber gives masterclasses, and since 2013 he has been a professor for lied accompaniment at the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg.
Gerold Huber has appeared at renowned festivals and major concert halls, a. o. at Konzertverein Vienna, Wigmore Hall London or Bavarian State Opera Munich, performing with Christian Gerhaher, Christina Landshamer, Franz-Josef Selig, Mojca Erdmann, Diana Damrau, Ruth Ziesak, Maximillian Schmitt, Christiane Karg, Rolando Villazon and others.
Gerold Huber is the artistic director of the Pollinger Tage Alter und Neuer Musik.
All of Gerold Huber’s recordings with Christian Gerhaher have been issued by Sony Classical, and awarded with various prizes. The Schubert recording Nachtviolen was honoured with the Gramophone Award in 2015. Among other recent recordings
Schubert’s Die schöne Mülllerin will be published this autumn, again with Christian Gerhaher (Sony).
Oliver Wille was born in Berlin and studied at several universities in Germany (Berlin and Cologne) and USA (Indiana University and New England Conservatory).
As a co-founder of the international acclaimed Kuss-Quartet he started a very active chamber music life at fairly young age. Among his teachers were Eberhard Feltz, Christoph Poppen, Walter Levin, members of Cleveland and Alban Berg Quartet, as well as György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados.
Oliver has played in several orchestra projects with the Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin under Christian Thielemann, Sinfonieorchester des Hessischen Rundfunks Frankfurt, Camerata Bern or Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Claudio Abbado, Kent Nagano, Daniel Harding and Andris Nelsons.
An important part of his life became teaching. He got appointed as a chamber music professor at the University for Music, Drama & Media Hannover in October 2011, teaching an international quartet class as well as working with individual students of the school. Since October 2014 he serves as the International Chair in Violin and the leader of newly founded string quartet academy at Birmingham Conservatory, UK.
Oliver writes program notes and CD booklets and holds lecture recitals such as the “Explica“ series of the Kuss Quartet in Hamburg, Hannover and Heidelberg.
Since 2012 he serves as the vize president and artistic advisor of the Chamber Music Society Hannover, further he works as artistic director at a new string quartet festival in Frankfurt. From 2016 on, he will become Artistic Director of the Festival Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker.
Daniel Heide grew up and studied piano in Weimar. He soon concentrated on the work with singers and chamber music performances, receiving inspiration from master classes with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Thomas Quasthoff and Christa Ludwig. Numerous lieder recitals and chamber concerts all over Europe are proof of his intensive concert activities. In addition to his regular work with singers such as Stella Doufexis, Ingeborg Danz, Britta Schwarz, Roman Trekel and Andrè Schuen he has accompanied lieder recitals with Christoph Pregardien, Simone Kermes, Luca Pisaroni, Ruth Ziesak and Anna Lucia Richter. Among his chamber music partners are Tabea Zimmermann, Antje Weithaas, Barbara Buntrock, Julian Steckel and Isang Enders. As an orchestral musician he performed with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Dresden Philhamonic, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra among others. One key element in Daniel Heide’s career as accompanist is the establishment of the concert series “The lyrical salon – lieder recitals at Schloss Ettersburg”. The Franz Liszt prizewinner teaches at the conservatoires of Berlin (the “Hanns Eisler”) and Weimar (the “Franz Liszt”).
Founded in 2000, L’Arpeggiata is an outstanding ensemble directed by Christina Pluhar. Its members are some of today’s best soloists and in addition they work in collaboration with some exceptional singers from the baroque and the traditional music worlds. Their aim is to revive an almost unknown repertoire and to focus their artistic work especially from the beginning of the 17th century.
The bases of L’Arpeggiata are instrumental improvisations, a different approach to singing centred on the development of vocal interpretation influenced by traditional music, and the creation and staging of attractive shows.
L’Arpeggiata has participated in the festivals such as in Oude Muziek in Utrecht, Printemps des Arts de Nantes, Pfingstfestspiele Melk, Festival de St Michel-en-Thierache, Festival de Sablé-sur-Sarthe, Brugge Musica Antica, Poissy, St Petersburg, Moscow, Philharmonie Köln, Paris Salle Gaveau, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Musikfestspiele Postdam, Händelfestspiele Halle, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, RuhrTriennale, Istanbul International Festival, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space and New York Carnegie Hall – among many others.
Christina Pluhar, founder and artistic director of the L’Arpeggiata, discoverd – after classical guitar studies at the University of her hometown Graz – her deep affinity for Renaissance and Baroque music.
She devoted herself to the studies of the lute, theorbo, baroque guitar and baroque harp at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (Netherlands) with Toyohiko Satoh and at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Switzerland) with Hopkinson Smith and at the Schuola Civica di Milano (Italy) with Mara Galassi.
Her repertoire includes music of the Renaissance and Baroque for lute, baroque guitar, archlute, theorbo and baroque harp, where she excelled as soloist.
In 1992 studies she moved to Paris, where she performed as a soloist and continuo player in with ensembles including La Fenice, Hesperion XXI, Il Giardino Armonico, Concerto Soave, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Cantus Cölln amongst others. As a continuo player, she is sought by orchestras under the direction of René Jacobs, Ivor Bolton and Alessandro di Marchi.
From 1993, she conducted master classes at Graz University, and from 1999 has served as professor of Baroque harp at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
Sought after as a song accompanist and chamber musician, over the last year Jonathan Ware has given recitals at Wigmore Hall (with Golda Schultz, Robin Tritschler, and Brenda Rae), the Aldeburgh Festival and at Boulez Saal Berlin. He collaborated with the Vogler Quartet, with the young trombonist Peter Moore in a tour sponsored by the European Concert Hall Organisation, and with oboist Olivier Stankiewicz in the US, appearing at the Morgan Library in New York to critical acclaim. He has also recorded for Berlin Classics with baritone Ludwig Mittelhammer, for Primo Classic with Luca Pisaroni, and Warner with Elsa Dreisig.
Engagements in the 2019 – 2020 season include a European tour with soprano Elsa Dreisig, repeat engagements at Wigmore Hall London, as well as important debuts at Weill Hall at Carnegie with Golda Schultz, La Scala Milan with Bejun Mehta, The Kennedy Center with Brenda Rae, as well as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Robin Tritschler. He also returns to the Heidelberger Frühling Festival with Bejun Mehta and Ludwig Mittelhammer, as well as the Verbier Festival.
Jonathan teaches at the Hochschule ‘Hanns Eisler’ and Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin and is a regular guest for masterclasses at the Samling Foundation, as well as a staff member at the Verbier Festival. He studied at the Eastman School of Music, Juilliard School and the Hochschule ‘Hanns Eisler’. Awards include 1st Prize in the Hugo Wolf Competition and the Pianist’s Prize at the Das Lied and Wigmore Hall Song Competitions.