SWR Vokalensemble

The Radio Choir of the SWR is one of the world’s renowned vocal ensembles. For seventy years the ensemble has focussed on exemplary performances and the development of the vocal music with passion and the highest singing competence. The choir’s sound and the enormous vocal and stylistic flexibility of the singers are unique and not only fascinate the audience, but also contemporary composers. Since 1946 the SWR has commissioned several compositions for his choir. The ensemble premiered more than 250 choral works, often making the impossible possible and the unthinkable conceivable. In addition to contemporary music, the SWR vocal ensemble is particularly devoted to the demanding choral works of Romanticism and Classical Modernism.

Marcus Creed has been the artistic director since 2003. Under his direction, the SWR vocal ensemble was awarded several times for his chamber music-like interpretations, including four times with the ECHO Klassik.

The choir’s passion for new vocal music is also a remarkable part of the choir’s academy, school projects as well as children’s and youth concerts. Several awards for the quality of their educational projects include the “Junge-Ohren-Preis”, the “ECHO Klassik für Kinder” and the “Leopold” media award.

Christian Reif

German conductor Christian Reif joined the San Francisco Symphony as their Resident Conductor and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the internationally acclaimed San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) in the 2016-17 season, after making a “powerful symphony debut” with the Symphony in fall 2015. He came to San Francisco from Miami, where he was the Conducting Fellow with the New World Symphony for the past two seasons.

Highlights of his career include leading the Munich Chamber Opera in performances of Mozart’s La finta semplice in Munich’s Cuvilliés Theater, performing with the Meininger Hofkapelle and leading the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony. As part of efforts to bridge cultures through music, he led the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in the world premiere of Mehmet C. Yesilçay’s Lieder aus der Fremde, which addresses the current European refugee crisis.

Mr. Reif has led several orchestras and ensembles both in the US and abroad such as the Lakes Area Music Festival Orchestra, The Juilliard Orchestra, Salzburg Chamber Soloists, Georgian Chamber Orchestra, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. He has performed with soloists including Dawn Upshaw, Sanford Sylvan, Julia Bullock and Barbara Bonney.

In 2014, Mr. Reif completed his Master of Music in Conducting at The Juilliard School under Alan Gilbert, after studying with Dennis Russell Davies at the Mozarteum Salzburg. For his outstanding achievements at The Juilliard School, Christian Reif is the recipient of the Charles Schiff Conducting Award. He also holds a scholarship from the German study promotion program of the Cusanuswerk and two Kulturförderpreise, awards given to promising artists of the region who promote cultural advancement in their communities.

Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

Philharmonisches Orchester Heidelberg

Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra

Mikhail Pletnev

Mikhail Pletnev works as pianist, conductor and composer. He was Gold Medal and First Prize winner of the 1978 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition when he was only 21, a prize that earned him early recognition worldwide. An invitation to perform at the 1988 superpower summit in Washington led to a friendship with Mikhail Gorbachev and the historic opportunity to make music in artistic freedom.

In 1990 Pletnev formed the first independent orchestra in Russia’s history. Many of the country’s finest musicians joined Pletnev in launching the Russian National Orchestra. Under his leadership, the RNO achieved in a few short years a towering stature among the world’s orchestras.

Pletnev’s compositions include works for orchestra, piano, strings and voices.  Today he is one of Russia’s most respected and influential artists.

Kristjan Järvi

Kristjan Järvi realizes his pioneering ideas with his four ensembles: as Music Director of the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Gstaad Festival Orchestra, as creator of his New York-based classical-hip-hop-jazz band Absolute Ensemble, and as Founder and Music Director of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic. As a recording artist Järvi’s range from Hollywood soundtracks such as ‘Cloud Atlas’ and ‘Hunger Games’ to award-winning albums on Sony and Chandos, to his eponymous series on renowned French label Naïve Classique: the ‘Kristjan Järvi Sound Project.’ Launched in 2014, the series features projects across all of Kristjan Järvi’s ensembles and is characterised by the conductor’s unmistakable approach in taking a fresh look at the old, with concepts and presentation that transcend the borders of classical music.

Kristjan Järvi’s works with some of today’s brightest creative minds, from film directors Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis, to composers and artists Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich, Tan Dun, Giya Kancheli, Hauschka, Dhafer Youssef, Anoushka Shankar, Max Richter and Esa-Pekka Salonen

The Knights

The Knights are an orchestral collective, flexible in size and repertory, dedicated to transforming the concert experience. Engaging listeners and defying boundaries with programs that showcase the players’ roots in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery, The Knights have “become one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products… known far beyond the borough for their relaxed virtuosity and expansive repertory (New Yorker).

The Knights evolved from late-night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. The Jacobsen brothers, who are also founding members of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, serve as artistic directors of The Knights, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor.

The Knights’ roster boasts remarkably diverse talents, including composers, arrangers, singer-songwriters, and improvisers, who bring a range of cultural influences to the group, from jazz and klezmer to pop and indie rock music. The unique camaraderie within the group retains the intimacy and spontaneity of chamber music in performance.

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

The Chamber Orchestra of Europe was founded in 1981 by a group of young musicians graduating from the European Union Youth Orchestra. It was their ambition to continue working together at the highest possible professional level, and of that original group, thirteen remain in the current core membership of around sixty. The members of the COE, selected by the Orchestra itself, pursue parallel careers as international soloists, Leaders and Principals of nationally-based orchestras, as members of eminent chamber groups, and as tutors and professors of music.

The COE performs in some of the most prominent cultural venues in Europe including the Philharmonie in Paris, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, the Cologne Philharmonie and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt. Together with other major European concert halls, these venues provide a regular touring base for the Orchestra. The COE has a close association with the Lucerne Festival, the Styriarte in Graz and with many of the world’s most prestigious musical events, such as the BBC Proms in London, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York.

Over the years, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe has developed especially close relationships with the late Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Vladimir Jurowski, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Sir András Schiff. The Orchestra also performs with many of the world’s most renowned soloists and conductors including Piotr Anderzewski, Gautier Capuçon, Isabelle Faust, Patricia Kopatchinskaya, Sir Roger Norrington, Murray Perahia, Francesco Piemontesi, Maria João Pires, and Robin Ticciati.

To enable young people and new audiences to experience at first hand high quality live orchestral and chamber music, the COE has an active education and outreach programme designed for school, conservatoire and concert hall. The COE Academy was created in 2009 and each year awards full scholarships to exceptionally talented postgraduate students and young professionals to study with the COE’s principal players when the Orchestra is ‘on tour’.

Cappella Gabetta

The Cappella Gabetta has enabled Sol Gabetta to make one of her musical dreams come true: she, her brother – concertmaster Andrés Gabetta – and a hand-picked team of highly qualified musicians from the same musical background devise repertoires of baroque and early classical music which they perform on original instruments at concerts and in the studio. The ensemble was established in December 2010, and has already made very successful guest appearances in Paris (Salle Gaveau, Théatre des Champs Elysées), Hamburg (Musikhalle), Vienna (Theater an der Wien), Baden Baden (Festspielhaus) Munich (Prinzregententheater), Zurich (Tonhalle), Berlin (Philharmonie) and elsewhere, as well as at illustrious festivals such as the Bremen Music Festival, Lyon Baroque Music Festival, Rheingau Music Festival and others.


The Cappella Gabetta has, to an increasing extent, been inviting other distinguished instrumentalists and vocalists to participate in joint concerts and recording projects in the area of baroque and early classical music, including the soprano Nuria Rial, the trumpet virtuoso Sergei Nakariakov, the violinist Giuliano Carmignola and the baroque cellist Christophe Coin. The future planning of Cappella Gabetta contains tours with Baiba Skride and Patricia Kopatchinskaja as well as with the recorder virtuoso Maurice Steger. Together with the singers Vivica Genaux and Olena Tokar Cappella Gabetta is also going to undertake the musical settings of “Orpheus”.


Concertmaster Andrés Gabetta is recognised as a brilliant baroque violinist. He is one of the closest musical associates of the prominent cellist and conductor Christoph Coin, in whose orchestra, the Orchestre Baroque de Limoges, Gabetta is the concertmaster.

Mario Venzago

Mario Venzago is the principal conductor and artistic director of the Bern Symphony Orchestra since 2010 and Artist in Association at Finland’s Tapiola Sinfonietta since 2007.
Before, he was principal conductor or general music director of orchestras such as: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Graz Opera und Graz Philharmonic Orchestra, Theatre and Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Heidelberg and Musikkollegium Winterthur.

From 2010 to 2014 he was principal conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia and from 2000 to 2003 Artistic Director of the Baltimore Summer Fest, as successor to Pinchas Zukermann and David Zinman.

Mario Venzago has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the orchestras in Philadelphia and Boston, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Filarmonica della Scala and the NHK Symphony Orchestra. He is a regular guest conductor with internationally renowned orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic and the Frankfurt Museumsorchester.


Valer Sabadus, Christophe Dumaux & Cappella Gabetta: »Stabat Mater«

»Zugabe« Jörg Tröger talks to Valer Sabadus and Christophe Dumaux (at Ballsaal/Stadthalle)

William Youn & Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra

A cooperation with


Sir András Schiff © Roberto Masotti

Sir András Schiff & Chamber Orchestra of Europe

6.45 pm Introduction by our Classic Scouts at Ballsaal/Stadthalle
Classic Scouts Newcomer-Concert

Kristjan Järvi & SWR Symphony Orchestra

10.00 pm Stadthalle late with Cairo Jazz Station

We owe thank to
Dr. Renate Keysser-Götze, Dr. Dietrich Götze und


Igor Levit & Irish Chamber Orchestra

»Encore« Jörg Tröger talks to Jörg Widmann (at Ballsaal/Stadthalle)

Irish Chamber Orchestra is kindly supported by

Festivalfinale: Daniil Trifonov & Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Subsequent Party at Ballsaal

Youth concert with Malte Arkona

(5th to 6th grade)

A cooperation with

Fazil Say © Marco Borggreve

Fazıl Say & Heidelberger Sinfoniker

Jörg Widmann © Marco Borggreve

Opening »Standpunkte«

You may book this concert individually or as part of »Standpunkte Pass«. Call us from Mo – Fri from 10 am to 6 pm: 0049 (0)6221 – 584 00 44. This offer is not available online.

Opening Concert: 20th Heidelberger Frühling

20 years on: Many renowned artists who have joined us over many years– Thomas Hampson, Igor Levit, Daniel Müller-Schott and Jörg Widmann – will return for this opening concert.

We owe thank to
Dr. Jobst Wellensiek and Dr. Manfred Lamy