Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
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Alexander Steinbeis assumed the position of Managing Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO) at the beginning of the 2007-08 season, having been engaged by Ingo Metzmacher, Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the DSO from 2007 to 2010, as Director of Artistic Planning in March 2006. In August 2019, he announced that he will relinquish his position at the end of the 2019-20 season.. In September 2010, Alexander Steinbeis signed on Tugan Sokhiev, then 32 years of age, as Metzmacher’s successor for four years starting in the 2012-13 season; in November 2015, he signed on Robin Ticciati, also 32 years old who took over the position in September 2017, initially for five years.
Through innovative programming concepts and by engaging renowned artists, Alexander Steinbeis has enhanced and consistently developed the orchestra’s profile as Berlin’s adventuresome and excellent orchestra on both the national and international stages. For instance, in the seasons without a designated music director, he presented annual programmes with an overarching thematic emphasis across seasons: concert series entitled ‘Nachtgestalten’ (‘night shapes’) and ‘Grenzwege’ (‘border paths’), and shaped sub-programmes with special discoveries, such as cycles of all of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s and Bohuslav Martinů’s symphonies conducted by Sir Roger Norrington. He enjoyed special attention with concert performances of operas, including Weill’s ‘Der Silbersee’ under Ingo Metzmacher and Barber’s ‘Vanessa’ under David Zinman.
Through projects at new and unusual venues, such as Berlin’s Art House Tacheles, the Villa Elisabeth in Berlin Mitte and the Heimathafen Neukölln, as well as by introducing the young Casual Concerts format, at the time together with Ingo Metzmacher, he opened up the orchestra to new audiences. He has been committed to promoting sustainable partnerships and networking with Berlin’s cultural institutions, including with the ‘Notturno’ chamber concert series, which the DSO has been presenting for ten years in cooperation with the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.
Along with programme planning and dramaturgy, Alexander Steinbeis as the orchestra’s Managing Director is responsible for engaging guest conductors and soloists and planning the orchestra’s tours. Among the guest conductors regularly engaged by Alexander Steinbeis are such established maestros on the podium as DSO’s Honorary Conductor Kent Nagano, Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Mark Elder, Manfred Honeck, Sakari Oramo, Sir Roger Norrington, and outstanding representatives of the younger generation such as Karina Canellakis, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Jakub Hrůsa, Raphaël Pichon, Cristian Măcelaru oder Santtu Matias-Rouvali.
Thus, during his tenure, the DSO can look back not only on three successful Asia tours and a South America tour, but also on regular engagements at renowned festivals such as the BBC Proms, the Salzburg Festival and the Beethovenfest Bonn, and on opera and concert residencies at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. In October 2019 the orchestra, conducted by Robin Ticciati, will embark on another two-week Asia tour with performances in Japan, South Korea and China.
In the area of music education, the ‘Symphonic Mob’ he launched has become a truly successful concept; since 2016, with the support of Germany's Federal Cultural Foundation, among others, it has also been implemented across Germany. Through the TRIKESTRA project series with the STEGREIF.orchester and the junge norddeutsche philharmonie he seeks to join forces with the creative potential of Berlin’s independent music scene as a laboratory of ideas for new concert and music education concepts.
Under the aegis of Alexander Steinbeis, the DSO enjoys consistently high attendance figures of ca. 85% for an average of 50 symphony concerts in Berlin. The DSO presented its best attendance figures so far – 89% – in 2015. The subscriber numbers were also steadily expanded during his tenure. And for the concert year 2018 ticket sales totalling over EUR 2 million for the first time.
Born in Munich in 1974, Alexander Steinbeis grew up in Germany and the UK. After studying management and arts administration in London, Paris, Oxford and Berlin, he gained initial experience in concert organization at the Opéra National de Paris and Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden, as well as with concert agencies in France and Germany. In 1999, he was engaged by Seiji Ozawa as Assistant Artistic Administrator for artistic planning for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he worked until 2005. His responsibilities there included concert planning and dramaturgy for the orchestra’s concerts in Boston and at the Tanglewood Festival. In this capacity he developed a close working relationship with Seiji Ozawa. During this time he was also responsible for a series of musicological symposia in collaboration with Harvard University. In addition to his responsibilities for the DSO, Alexander Steinbeis was a lecturer at the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig from 2012 to 2014 in the field of concert dramaturgy, constituting the dramaturgy course of studies.
as of: August 2019