The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra introduced Gabriel Feltz, the orchestra’s next Chief Conductor as of the season 2017/18. As the BPO musicians played an important role in the selection of the chief conductor, they extended a warm welcome to their future chief at the get-together organised in the urban ambience of Dorćol Platz.
“As a sign of respect for and connection with your country, its people and culture, it is understood that I first need to learn your language. I have already started studying the basics and, hopefully, by next year when my term as the chief conductor will start, I will be able to communicate in Serbian”, said German conductor Gabriel Feltz, who is also currently engaged as the General Music Director of the Dortmund Opera and the Chief Conductor of the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra.
He reflected on his first visit to Belgrade in 2009, when he missed the first rehearsal with the orchestra and the preparation of Mahler’s Symphony No 6, owing to the “setback” that he experienced when he arrived in Serbia without his passport.
“I remember my first impression from the rehearsal and the orchestra that played passionately, emphatically and firmly focused on the score, which I appreciate very much. The Belgrade Philharmonic is a professional orchestra, doing its best at all times, which has made me return here every year with great pleasure”.
He was delighted by the invitation to take the job of the chief conductor and the trust shown to him, considering it an excellent opportunity for close cooperation with an orchestra that he genuinely loves: “Thank you for the invitation, I take this role very seriously. I am looking forward to working together and I am sure that we will be making phenomenal music” said Gabriel Feltz.
At the get-together with the musicians, the future chief conductor also played a game of table tennis with the Concertmaster Miroslav Pavlović, while the percussion duo Ivan Marjanović and Aleksandar Radulović were in charge of making good atmosphere and positive rhythm.
The main goals of the future chief conductor include upgrading the orchestra’s international reputation, expanding the repertoire range – with special emphasis on baroque and early classicism, as well as on the works of contemporary composers. He takes keen interest in the music of Serbian composers, especially after becoming acquainted with the works of Milan Ristić and being impressed by one of his pieces (Symphony No 2).
Gabriel Feltz sees great potential in the BPO musicians and appreciates their passion for grandiose romantic repertoire, as well as the effort they invest in learning new programmes. He highlights orchestra members’ geniality in combination with strong character as an ideal basis for fruitful cooperation on a diverse repertoire. Gabriel Feltz’s signing is a step forward in upgrading the orchestra’s quality and in joining the family of the world’s most distinguished orchestras.