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Leo McFall is winner of the Deutscher Dirigentenpreis 2015

Photo Credit: Peter Adamik

Leo McFall, Assistant Conductor of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER and currently First Kapellmeister at the Theater Meiningen, is the winner of the Deutscher Dirigentenpreis 2015.

Initiated by the DIRIGENTENFORUM of the Deutscher Musikrat in 2006, the award grants Euro 15.000. Leo McFall conducted the Konzerthausorchester Berlin (Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphoses on themes by Carl Maria von Weber) at the Konzerthaus Berlin on 24 April 2015 and convinced a prominent jury headed by Prof Dr Peter Gülke.

Previous winners include Mikhel Kütson (GMD of the Niederrheinische Sinfoniker at the Theater Krefeld Mönchengladbach), Simon Gaudenz (Principal Conductor of the Hamburg Camerata), Francesco Angelico (Principal Conductor of the Tiroler Landestheater and the Tiroler Symphonieorchester Innsbruck), and Kristiina Poska (Kapellmeister at the Komische Oper Berlin).

The Deutsche Dirigentenpreis is part of the excellency programme for young conductors of the DIRIGENTENFORUM of the Deutscher Musikrat ( in which several Assistant Conductors of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER took part: Patrick Lange (Assistant Conductor 2005-2009), David Afkham (Assistant Conductor 2009-2012), and Leo McFall (Assistant Conductor since 2013). Leo McFall was finalist of the „Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award“ 2014, and since 2009 he took part in the DIRIGENTENFORUM programme.

Most recently, Leo McFall conducted two concerts of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER during the Easter Tour 2015 in Lisbon.

GMJO Easter Tour 2015

British conductor Jonathan Nott will lead the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester on its extraordinary Easter Tour 2015. For the second time with the GMJO, after a successful Summer Tour in 2009, Jonathan Nott will conduct Gustav Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 2, an absolute first in the history of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester as it is the only Mahler symphony that the orchestra has never yet performed.

For this, both Jonathan Nott and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester will welcome soprano Chen Reiss and alto Christa Mayer, as well as various local choirs of international standing. The Easter Tour 2015 will take the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester to the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the Festival de Pâcques in Aix-en-Provence, to Ljubljana’s Cankarjev Dom, to Vienna’s Musikverein, to Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle, to Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional de Música, and to Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana.


Photo: Gregor Khuen Belasi

Christoph Eschenbach receives the Ernst-von-Siemens-Musikpreis 2015

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester warmly congratulates Christoph Eschenbach on the Ernst-von-Siemens-Musikpreis 2015

Also regarded as the „Nobel Prize for Music“, the Ernst-von-Siemens-Musikpreis 2015 honours the achievements of both the great conductor and the outstanding pianist Christoph Eschenbach, his life-long support for contemporary music and young musicians. 

Previous award winners include Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, GMJO founder and life-long Music Director Claudio Abbado, Benjamin Britten, Henri Dutilleux, Hans Werner Henze, and Wolfgang Rihm.

Christoph Eschenbach led the Summer Tour 2014 of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester which included the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm´s Piano Concerto no. 2 at the Salzburg Festival.

Bravo, dear Christoph Eschenbach!

Photo: Gregor Khuen Belasi

The GMJO at the Wiener Festwochen

The Wiener Festwochen 2015 programme was announced on 17 December 2014 by festival director Markus Hinterhäuser: the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester will perform Béla Bartók's Bluebeard’s Castle under the direction of Kent Nagano. The Production is by Andrea Breth, her very first opera production in Vienna, with Gábor Bretz as Bluebeard and Nora Gubisch as Judith. The four performances at the Theater an der Wien, between 19 - 25 June 2015, mark the debut of the GMJO at the Wiener Festwochen.


This is the third scenic opera production of the GMJO, after Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle with Pierre Boulez in a production by Pina Bausch at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 1998, and Richard Wagner’s Parsifal with Claudio Abbado in a production by Peter Stein at the Edinburgh Festival 2002. More recently, the GMJO had a huge success with concert performances of Wagner’s Rienzi under Philippe Jordan at the Salzburg Festival 2013.

Kent Nagano returns as guest conductor of the GMJO after having led the Easter Tour 1998.

To know more, follow the link to the Wiener Festwochen website.

Photo: Wiener Festwochen

Christoph Eschenbach and Tzimon Barto in the very successful Summer Tour 2014 of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

Appearing for the first time with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, conductor Christoph Eschenbach led the GMJO Summer Tour 2014, which was dedicated to the memory of our founder and music director Claudio Abbado. The current music director of the National Symphony Orchestra and of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. was joined by long-time artistic partner pianist Tzimon Barto, in his second project with the GMJO, after 1991.
The tour programmes featured Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto op. 16, Olivier Messiaen’s Les offrandes oubliées, Peter I. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, and the world-premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s Piano Concerto No. 2. As a joint commission of the Salzburg Festival, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, and the National Symphony Orchestra Washington D.C., the new concerto was one of the musical highlights of the summer. After the premiere in Salzburg, it was also performed by the GMJO in Italy and in Germany, being very well received by audiences everywhere.

The Summer Tour 2014 started with a residency in our partner-city of Bolzano/Bozen, followed by performances at the Salzburg Festival, at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (Hamburg and Lübeck), at the Stresa and Rimini Festivals, at the Semperoper Dresden – where it appeared at the invitation of the Staatskapelle Dresden –, at the Rheingau Music Festival (Kloster Eberbach), and at the Essen and Cologne Philharmonies.
The concerts were enthusiastically received by audiences and press alike: “L’orchestra risponde con intensità e compattezza: i componenti denotano sensibilità nell’esecuzione e piena sintonia” (l’ApeMusicale, 02.09.14);Solist Tzimon Barto beseelte das ihm gewidmete, wenig virtuos auftrumpfende Konzert poetisch und pointiert“ (Ruhr Nachrichten, 07.09.14); “Sprechend in der Artikulation entfesselten die jungen Musikerinnen und Musiker die Expressivität ebenso, wie sie das Lichte im Schluss zur formen wussten“ (Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, 05.09.14). And doyen Gerhard Rohde praised the performance of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 within the cycle of Bruckner symphonies that were performed at the Salzburg Festival by some of the world´s leading orchestras: “Christoph Eschenbachs Interpretation der Siebten überzeugte […] durch formale Disziplin, plastischen Klang und kluge Dispositionen.” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 03.09.2014).
Before the tour concerts began, and as in previous years, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester took part in the award-winner’s concert of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award (YCA). Young French conductor Maxime Pascal, winner of this year’s edition of the award, conducted the GMJO in a programme featuring works by Claude Debussy, Ernest Chausson (with mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa), and Igor Stravinsky: “Insgesamt schien das Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in jeder Sekunde bestrebt, seinem jungen Dirigenten jeden Gestaltungswunsch nicht nur vom Stab, sondern auch von Aug und Herz abzulesen: ein musikalisches Miteinander war das, wie man es sich lebendiger, aufmerksamer und damit wirkungsvoller nicht wünschen kann“ (, 18.08.14).

After the auditions that will take place during the winter in more than twenty European cities, the next project of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester will be the Easter Tour 2015, for which we will welcome back conductor Jonathan Nott, current principal conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, for performances of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in collaboration with various choirs. The residency will take place at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon and concerts are planned for Aix-en-Provence, Ljubljana, Vienna, Hamburg, Madrid, and Barcelona.

Photo credits:
Gregor Khuen Belasi
Salzburg Festival/Marco Borrelli/Lelli

Recent releases

Claudio Abbado, Conductor                             Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

Modest Mussorgsky: A Night on the Bare Mountain

European Community Youth Orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven: Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus op.43
Arnold Schoenberg: A Survivor from Warsaw op.46
Maximilian Schell - Narrator, Jeunesse-Choir Vienna
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird (Suite)
Sergei Prokofiev: Tybald's Death from the Ballet "Romeo and Juliet"

Released: 2014
Label: Orfeo

Ben Gernon, Conductor                                   Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, op. 100

Released: 2014

Label: Salzburg Festival






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DVD Trailer
Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Soloist: Juliane Banse
Gustav Mahler: Symphony no. 4 in G major

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Audio Samples
13. Auf dem Gipfel
  1. Richard Strauss: Alpine Symphony / Conductor: Franz Welser-Möst
  2. Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 9 in D-major / Conductor: Claudio Abbado
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