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 2016, Steinbeis’s contract was extended through the end of the 2020-21 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.
In the first three years after taking up his post, Alexander Steinbeis, in collaboration with Ingo Metzmacher, enhanced and consistently developed the orchestra’s unique profile through innovative programming concepts. In the following two years without a designated Music Director, he continued the strand of season programmes with an overarching thematic emphasis: Steinbeis introduced a concert series entitled ‘Nachtgestalten’ on the theme of ‘night shapes’ as the 2010-11 season’s central focus; in the 2011-12 season he focussed on ‘Grenzwege’ (‘border paths’). Through projects at new and unusual venues, such as Berlin’s Tacheles Gallery, Villa Elisabeth in Berlin’s Mitte district and the Heimathafen Neukölln, and by introducing the Casual Concerts format, at the time together with Ingo Metzmacher, Steinbeis has emphasised the orchestra’s openness and its endeavours to attract new groups of listeners. Through the ‘Notturno’ chamber concert series, which the DSO has been presenting since 2010-11 in cooperation with the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz under the patronage of its president Prof. Dr. Hermann Parzinger, he is committed to promoting sustainable partnerships and networking with Berlin’s cultural institutions. In the area of music education, he launched the ‘Symphonic Mob’, which has become a truly successful concept. With the support of Germany's Federal Cultural Foundation, it has been implemented across Germany since 2016.
Along with programme planning and artistic guidance, Alexander Steinbeis as the orchestra’s Managing Director is in particular responsible for engaging guest conductors and soloists, as well as planning the orchestra’s tours. Thus, during his tenure so far the DSO can look back not only on three successful Asia tours with Ingo Metzmacher, Yutaka Sado and Tugan Sokhiev, and a South America tour with Vladimir Ashkenazy, but also on regular engagements at renowned festivals like the BBC Proms, Salzburg Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival and Beethovenfest Bonn and on opera and concert residencies at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. In October 2019 the orchestra embarks on a two-week Asia tour conducted by Robin Ticciati – with a residency in Tokyo with five concerts in four halls, followed by performances in, among other places, Seoul (South Korea), Beijing and Shanghai (China).
Among the guest conductors regularly engaged by Alexander Steinbeis are such established maestros on the podium as Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, Kent Nagano, Sir Roger Norrington, Leonard Slatkin and David Zinman, and outstanding representatives of the younger generation such as Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Cristian Măcelaru, Rafael Payare, Andris Poga and Santtu Matias-Rouvali. 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 and later with James Levine. 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