Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra

The Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1865 as the "Städtisches Orchester" (Municipal Orchestra) for productions in the theatre and has been playing its own symphony concerts since 1910. Today they are the city's largest symphonic orchestra and perform around 120 music theatre and ballet performances a year. In addition, there are a dozen symphonic programs per season: classical symphony concerts under the baton of Chief Musical Director Domonkos Héja and renowned guest conductors as well as the traditional New Year's Eve concert, open-air concerts and galas.

An extensive musical education program reaches several thousand young people in and around Augsburg every year: family concerts invite listeners young and old to get acquainted with the world of music. School concerts, concerts in the classroom and visits to rehearsals allow pupils and kindergarteners to experience the orchestra up close. A chamber music series organized by the orchestra members themselves rounds off the concert schedule. The orchestra's repertoire covers a wide spectrum of music history, from baroque music to classical and romantic music to new and contemporary music of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Contemporary music in particular is an important part of the concert schedule; the orchestra regularly commissions compositions for world premieres. The Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra has had guest performances throughout the region of Swabia, in Nuremberg, Munich and Frankfurt as well as Mallorca, Italy and France. Chief Musical Director Domonkos Héja, who has guided the orchestra's musical aims since the 2015/2016 season, is the latest in a long tradition of renowned conductors who have shaped the orchestra's history: Wolfgang Sawallisch, Heinz Wallberg and Eugen Jochum began their careers in Augsburg.  The list of chief musical directors includes Bruno Weil, Michael Luig, Istvan Kertesz, Rudolf Piehlmayer and most recently Dirk Kaftan.

Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Photo: Jan-Pieter Fuhr

Eva Gesine Baur

Eva Gesine Baur holds a doctorate in cultural history; she studied literature, art history and musicology. She worked for a longer time as a journalist, primarily writing features and essays on artists and related subjects.

Today she lives and works in Munich as a non-fiction writer, publicist and freelance writer. She writes biographies (Chopin oder die Sehnsucht / Der Mann für Mozart: Emanuel Schikaneder / Mozart. Genius und Eros / Einsame Klasse. Das Leben der Marlene Dietrich) and literary travel guides, for example Schauplatz Salzburg / Freuds Wien / Amor in Venedig. Under her pen name Lea Singer she also writes novels (Die Zunge / Wahnsinns Liebe / Vier Farben der Treue / Das nackte Leben / Mandelkern / Konzert für die linke Hand / Der Opernheld / Verdis letzte Versuchung / Anatomie der Wolken / Die Poesie der Hörigkeit / Der Klavierschüler).

In 2009 she held the renowned poetics lectureship in Paderborn. She has received several awards for her fictional works, including the Hannelore Greve Prize of the Hamburg Authors’ Guild for her complete oeuvre in 2010, the Schwabing Arts Award in Munich in 2016, and the Lake Constance Literature Prize in 2018.

In the summer of 2019 she will lend a spark to the Davos Festival as creative chair.

Eva Gesine Baur, Photo: Foto Meinen

Geigenbauatelier Augsburg

Run by master violin makers Jan Bacher and Antonia Meyer. We make individual stringed instruments and carry out exacting repairs and high-quality restorations. Our experience enables us to assist students and professional musicians in adjusting the sound of their instruments. The workshop holds a large selection of old and new violins, violas, cellos and double basses. It is of utmost importance to us to find the right instrument for every musician.

Photo: Geigenbauatelier Augsburg

Domonkos Héja

Domonkos Héja was born in Budapest in 1974 and grew up in a family of musicians. He played piano, viola and percussion. In 1998 he successfully completed his studies in conducting and percussion at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest. In the same year he won first prize at the 9th International Conducting Competition of Hungarian television. Shortly thereafter he was awarded further prizes at the Mitropoulos Conducting Competition in Athens.

In 1993 Héja founded the Danubia Orchestra, of which he was musical director until 2011. As a promising Hungarian conductor he received the Liszt Prize in 2003 and in 2008, the Junior Prima Prize. Héja made his debut at the Hungarian State Opera in 2001 with Puccini's "La Bohème". From 2005 to 2011 he was the primary conductor at the Chemnitz Theatre, from 2011 to 2013 chief musical director of the Hungarian State Opera, with which he has remained closely associated as guest conductor. He has also appeared with the MDR Symphony Orchestra, DSO Berlin, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra, Mecklenburg State Orchestra and the leading Hungarian orchestras.

Domonkos Héja’s repertoire includes concertos, contemporary music and operas, oratorios and sacred works as well as the most significant symphonies, ballets, operettas and musicals. A major focus is on the music of Hungarian composers from Franz Liszt to Ernö Dohnányi to György Ligeti.

Since the beginning of the 2015/16 season, Domonkos Héja has been chief musical director at the Augsburg State Theater. He has conducted Alexander Zemlinsky's "Der König Kandaules", Dimitri Shostakovich's "Lady Macbeth of Mzensk", Carl Maria von Weber's "Der Freischütz" and Giuseppe Verdi's "La forza del destino".

Domonkos Héja, Photo: Nik Schölzel

Munich Radio Orchestra

Founded in 1952, the Munich Radio Orchestra can look back on a 65-year history during which it has evolved into an ensemble with a vast artistic range and a versatility that ensures its place in Munich’s orchestral landscape. Concert performances of opera with outstanding vocalists (in the Sunday concerts) and sacred music of the 20th and 21st centuries (in the Paradisi Gloria series) are no less part of its philosophy than educational outreach concerts for children and young adults, entertaining thematic concerts in its ‘Wednesday at 7:30’ series and live performances of film scores. Its other crossover programmes, from jazz to video game music, demonstrate time and again that the Munich Radio Orchestra stands at the cutting edge of our era.

The new chief conductor since the beginning of the 2017/18 season is the Croatian Ivan Repušić. At his request the orchestra has instituted an annual artist-in-residence programme, beginning with the Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka. In the 2018/19 season the percussionist Simone Rubino will be artist in residence at the Munich Radio Orchestra.

The Munich Radio Orchestra’s activities on its home turf are regularly augmented by guest appearances in such renowned venues as Baden-Baden Festival Hall, the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, the Bad Kissingen Summer Festival and the Salzburg Festival. On these occasions it has performed with artists of the stature of Edita Gruberová and Diana Damrau and accompanied Anna Netrebko and Plácido Domingo at the Salzburg Festival. Further highlights include a tour with Jonas Kaufmann as well as guest performances at the Opéra Royal in Versailles and Vienna’s Theater an der Wien, featuring newly unearthed operas in conjunction with the Palazzetto Bru Zane Foundation. Thanks to its CD recordings the Munich Radio Orchestra has become a lasting presence on the sound recording market. Especially worthy of mention are its many complete recordings of music theatre pieces and its portraits of such singers as Sonya Yoncheva, Marina Rebeka, Krassimira Stoyanova, Pavol Breslik and Klaus Florian Vogt. In 2018 two CDs with the soprano Véronique Gens received the International Classical Music Award (ICMA): a live recording of Camille Saint-Saëns’s opera Proserpine and a compilation of French arias under the title Visions.

Munich Radio Orchestra, Photo: Felix Broede