The search for a new General Music Director for the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra is over: Axel Kober, who has already been the orchestra’s principal conductor since the 2017/18 season, will continue to shape the orchestra in a new position for another three years from the beginning of the 2019/20 season. After thorough deliberation, the selection committee unanimously agreed with the orchestra’s vote, which had voted for Kober by an overwhelming majority. Axel Kober will be engaged until July 2022. He will conduct four Philharmonic concerts per season. In addition, a “Principal Guest Conductor” will be invited each season to conduct three concerts. In the 2019/20 season this will be Benjamin Shwartz.
“With Mr. Kober, we have one of the most renowned German conductors at the head of our orchestra,” comments Duisburg’s head of cultural department Thomas Krützberg on the decision. “The connection of our philharmonic orchestra to the Rhine Opera, where Mr. Kober will continue to work as GMD, will be further strengthened by this appointment,” adds Udo Vohl, chairman of the cultural committee. Director Prof. Dr. Alfred Wendel describes the phase originally intended as an interim period with Axel Kober as chief conductor as artistically very fruitful and humanly extremely pleasant. The atmosphere in the orchestra is brilliant: “Axel Kober convinces with excellent technique and highly musical creative power, he enjoys the confidence of the musicians and has a first-class connection to our audience.“ Numerous applicants had presented themselves for the office of Duisburg’s GMD with guest conductors. The Duisburg Philharmonic wants to keep in touch with many of the high-profile and highly esteemed candidates.
Axel Kober enjoys highest recognition in the international music world. Profound knowledge of his works, enormous experience and rich musicality make his interpretations in opera and concert to exciting and inspiring events. He has just received storms of enthusiasm for a complete Ring of the Nibelung at the Vienna State Opera. The press spoke of Axel Kober as the “greatest treasure lifted during this Ring run”. In addition, he regularly stands at the podium of the great opera houses of Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden and Zurich and has been a welcome guest at the Bayreuth Wagner Festival for several years.