On the first day of ticket sale to our regular subscribers, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra announced its new concert season 2017/18, titled The Five Elements, which will launch on 29 September. For this special occasion, the event was attended by the new Chief Conductor Gabriel Feltz, who will officially take office at the start of the next season. Together with the BPO Director Ivan Tasovac, Feltz arranged a pleasant surprise for the numerous subscribers by personally giving them the new season tickets and promoting the season book, which contains all details about The Five Elements.

In a real philharmonic ambience, Gabriel Feltz and Ivan Tasovac stood on the conductor’s podium and briefed the media representatives about the new season, allowing them to get a sense of what it feels like to be an orchestra musician as they sat in the musicians’ seats on the stage.
Feltz initially addressed the visitors in Serbian, demonstrating his progress in learning our language, while Director Tasovac replied in German in an act of symbolism.
“I have the special honour to announce the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra’s new season 2017/18 for the first time. The season is titled The Five Elements and comprises 25 concerts grouped into five series:  Earth, Water, Air, Fire and the mysterious Fifth Element. We will play excellent music for each of these elements. My first programme is also a little personal tradition of mine. Whenever I take up a position of a chief conductor, I always start with the same programme – Beethoven’s Pastoral and Strauss’ Alpine Symphony.”
Tasovac announced a concert with Zubin Mehta on 18 March 2018 as part of Maestro’s farewell tour and revealed that the soloist at the concert will be celebrated Serbian pianist Aleksandar Madžar: “We will have the same programme that Mehta conducted in Belgrade 60 years ago: Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Franck’s Symphonic Variations and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique”.
Feltz explained the concept of the five elements, which refers to the universal conflict of the human being and the nature, since man is one of nature’s principal adversaries. He believes that music can influence the society and that the planet can be preserved for the future generations. The programme of every BPO concert in the next season relates to one of the primary elements of nature – earth, water, air, fire and the invisible one – the fifth element.
“Our repertoire will range from early classical to contemporary music, and the orchestra will demonstrate its adaptability through the interpretation of various styles”, said Feltz, underlining this aspect as a great asset of any orchestra.

Tasovac talked about fostering generations of new audiences: “We are continuing the tradition of children’s concerts – there will be thirty in the next season. Currently, we have a competition for the best essay on the topic What Exactly Is a Philharmonic, open until 13 June. In the beginning of the next season, we will reward 500 best literary works with the Philharmonic Backpack, which includes, among other surprises, ‘My First Classical Music CD’, recorded and published by the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra.”
The BPO also resumes its tradition of open rehearsals every month, when children can come and meet the musicians, learn about the instruments and the orchestra. Tasovac also announced the new edition of The Philcademy orchestral academy, which enables young musicians to learn from and be mentored by the BPO players, as well as to appear together with them in the final concert. This time, the final concert will be directed by conductor Uroš Lajovic.
Furthermore, Feltz presented the German national programme The Conductors’ Forum, which focuses on the future generations of conductors and organises masterclasses, assistant positions and sponsored concerts for its scholarship holders. Thanks to Feltz, who used to be a beneficiary of the programme himself, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra will join the programme for the first time in 2018, hoping to contribute to the training of Serbian conductors.
Tasovac concluded that the mission of the Belgrade Philharmonic is similar to that of Politikin zabavnik magazine, its target group being everyone between 7 and 77 years of age: “We start with preschool institutions and schools, and then we are also there for those who choose to have a career in music. Our musicians and the management in a way take care of the future young professionals, giving them opportunities to work with the best musicians, while talented conductors are awarded mentors who train them and allow them to conduct a top-notch orchestra like the Belgrade Philharmonic”.
The announcement event, which ended with a short promotional video, directed by Miloš Škundrić, about the cooperation of the Chief Conductor Gabriel Feltz and the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, was attended by members of the diplomatic corps.