The Critical Orchestra®

© Simon Pauly

The Critical Orchestra®

The Critical Orchestra / Kritisches Orchester® unites members of well-known orchestras, who gather on a voluntary basis to offer young junior conductors a globally unique teaching situation. It is the musicians themselves who give the feedback and suggestions to the conductors during the rehearsal phase. The young talents thus benefit from the experience of the musicians from orchestras such as the Staatskapelle Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden, Deutsche Oper, Komische Oper, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, NDR-Elbphilharmonie-Orchester, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Niedersächsisches Staatsopernorchester, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn and others.

This workshop that has been internationally advertised for interactive conducting goes back to an idea suggested by Klaus Harnisch, a former project manager of the Dirigentenforum (the Conductors’ Forum). The Critical Orchestra / Kritisches Orchester® was founded in 2002 by Christhard Gössling as an event of the Hanns Eisler Music Academy in Berlin. Since 2016, the Dirigentenforum has been cooperating with the academy to implement this project.

The workshop is to be held in three rounds. Only the participants who prove themselves in the rehearsals will reach the next round. This way, the three finalists will gradually gain precious rehearsal time with this unique orchestra.

Simone Young, the project’s director-mentor for the year 2018, highlights the importance of the workshop for the training of a conductor: “The direct contact with great musicians is something most young conductors can only dream of. It is a privilege and a great opportunity for them to make great progress in their development within just a few days. And this is precisely what distinguishes the workshop of the Critical Orchestra / Kritisches Orchester®.”

Among the participants of past directors’ workshops were Patrick Lange, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Michał Dworzynski, David Afkham and Kristiina Poska.

The project is supported by the German government’s Commissioner for Culture and Media and the DOV orchestra association of Germany.

The Critical Orchestra® 2018: Prof. Lothar Strauß giving feedback to Reto Schärli