The love of music unites the young musicians in the university’s symphony orchestra. Several times a year, students in the Orchestral Instruments program form an orchestra, playing, for example, in front of a large audience at Düsseldorf’s Tonhalle symphony hall.
Innovation and tradition
Prof. Rüdiger Bohn has been artistic director of the orchestra since October 2005. His concerts combine traditional programming with innovative elements. Bohn studied in Cologne and Düsseldorf and won several international chamber music competitions as a pianist, before devoting himself exclusively to conducting. After master classes with, among others, Leonard Bernstein and positions at various theaters as a vocal coach and conductor, he has performed with important symphony orchestras at home and abroad. His repertoire ranges from Pre-Classic to Classical modern, with Bruckner's and Mahler's work featuring regularly in his programs. As the musical director of the Zeitgenössische Oper Berlin, founded in 1997, Rüdiger Bohn dedicated himself to the study of New Music, which has continued to shape his orchestral work to this day.
The university’s symphony orchestra works regularly with important contemporary composers, such as Toshio Hosokawa, Marco Stroppa, Youngi Pagh-Paan and Wolfgang Rihm. In addition, the university maintains close ties with the Musikfabrik in Cologne.
A concert featuring Campino
In addition to its concerts at the Tonhalle, the student orchestra also participates in the university’s own opera productions, which take place annually at the university in cooperation with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein.
On the initiative of Prof. Thomas Leander, in the fall of 2013 the symphony orchestra performed with the well-known Düsseldorf pop group “Die Toten Hosen.” The musicians presented works by composers who were persecuted by the National Socialists as part of a concert program entitled “Willkommen in Deutschland.” The concerts were very well received all across Germany.
A video on the performance with Die Toten Hosen: