Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

Cast change:
Jukka-Pekka Saraste Conductor
Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

Anton Bruckner

  • Symphony No. 7 in E major, WAB 107

Tomorrow’s professionals

The new season in Dresden is traditionally opened by the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, the Staatskapelle’s partner orchestra since 2012. Founded in Vienna in 1986 by Claudio Abbado, it is regarded as one of the world’s leading youth orchestras. With a touring repertoire ranging from classical to contemporary music, the young players particularly enjoy performing the great works of the Romantic and late-Romantic periods. Attracted by its high artistic level and international success, many leading musicians have collaborated with the ensemble.

In cooperation with the Frauenkirche Dresden

  • 29.08.2022
    20:00 Uhr
    Frauenkirche Dresden

Jukka-Pekka Saraste

Jukka-Pekka Saraste has established himself as one of the outstanding conductors of his generation, demonstrating remarkable musical depth and integrity. Born in Heinola, Finland, he began his career as a violinist before training as a conductor with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. An artist of exceptional versatility and breadth and renowned for his objective approach, he feels a special affinity with the sound and style of late Romantic music. He maintains a particularly strong connection to the works of Beethoven, Bruckner, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Sibelius and is internationally celebrated for his interpretations of Mahler.

In April 2022, Jukka-Pekka was named as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. He will begin his tenure in summer 2023. From 2010 to 2019, he served as Chief Conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne. Previously, Jukka-Pekka Saraste was Music Director of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and was subsequently appointed Conductor Laureate. Earlier positions include the principal conductorships of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, where he is now also Conductor Laureate, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He founded the Finnish Chamber Orchestra, where he remains the Artistic Advisor.

Jukka-Pekka Saraste is a founding member of the LEAD! Foundation, a mentorship programme for young conductors and soloists based in Finland. In 2020, it also created the annual Fiskars Summer Festival as an international platform for both Finnish and international artists to pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation of conductors from all around the world.

Guest engagements have led him to the major orchestras worldwide, including the London

Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Munich Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Staatskapelle Berlin, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and the leading Scandinavian orchestras. In North America, he has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, New York Philharmonic, as well as Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. In recent years, Jukka-Pekka Saraste has developed a strong profile in opera and, following concert performances of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, Schönberg’s Erwartung and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, had great success at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna with a new scenic production of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Korngold’s Die tote Stadt at the Finnish National Opera. In the 2020-2021 season, he conducted a new staging of Reimann's Lear at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich which will be revived in January 2023.

His extensive discography includes the complete symphonies of Sibelius and Nielsen with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and a number of critically acclaimed recordings with Toronto Symphony Orchestra. His CDs with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne with works by Mahler, Schönberg, Stravinsky, Brahms, Bruckner, and the complete symphonies of Beethoven, have received widespread acknowledgement. Jukka-Pekka Saraste has received the Pro Finlandia Prize, the Sibelius Medal, and the Finnish State Prize for Music. He holds honorary doctorates from York University, Toronto and Sibelius Academy, Helsinki.

Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (GMJO) was founded in Vienna in 1986/87 on the initiative of Claudio Abbado. Today it is regarded as the world’s leading youth orchestra and was awarded by the European Cultural Foundation in 2007.

As well as supporting young musicians and their work, Abbado was keen to encourage the music making of young Austrian musicians together with colleagues from the then socialist republics of Czechoslovakia and Hungary. As a consequence, the GMJO became the first international youth orchestra to hold open auditions in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. In 1992, the GMJO opened up to musicians aged up to 26 from all over Europe. As the youth orchestra for the whole of Europe, it is under the patronage of the Council of Europe.

At the auditions that take place every year in over twenty-five European cities, an international jury selects candidates from an average of 2000 applicants. Prominent orchestra musicians are members of this jury and also responsible for the preparation of the repertoire in the individual sections during the rehearsal periods of the orchestra.

The GMJO tour repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary music with the emphasis on the great symphonic works of the Romantic and late Romantic periods. Its high artistic level and

international success have prompted many leading conductors and soloists to perform with the GMJO, such as Claudio Abbado, Herbert Blomstedt, Pierre Boulez, Myung-Whun Chung, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, Peter Eötvös, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink, Paavo Järvi, Mariss Jansons, Kent Nagano. The GMJO has been a regular guest at the most prestigious concert halls and festivals for many years, such as the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Mozarteum Argentino in Buenos Aires, the Salzburg Festival and the Salzburg Easter Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, the BBC Proms, the Semperoper Dresden, and the Lucerne Festival. Many former members of the GMJO are now members of leading European orchestras, some of them in principal positions. In 2012, an intensive partnership with the renowned Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden was announced which includes concerts and projects involving members of both orchestras.

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester was appointed »Ambassador UNICEF Austria« on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. Erste Bank and Vienna Insurance Group – Main Sponsors of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester.