Listening (and belonging) together: A Beethoven evening with the National Youth Orchestra of Germany

Bundesjugendorchester (photo: Selina Pfrüner)

When Ludwig van Beethoven composed his famous “Sinfonia eroica”, he was already suffering from progressive hearing loss. Artistically, he defied his illness, but it isolated him more and more socially. Taking this as a starting point, the National Youth Orchestra of Germany and students from the Education and Counselling Centre for the Hearing Impaired in Stegen will focus on the theme of hearing in this concert: with which senses do we experience music? In addition to the “Eroica”, the orchestra will perform works by Brett Dean, Mark Barden and Bernhard Wulff, which were written with and for the hearing-impaired – an impressive concert experience for both the hearing and those with impaired hearing.

National Youth Orchestra of Germany

Christoph Altstaedt conductor

Students of the Bildungs- und Beratungszentrum für Hörgeschädigte Stegen

Christine Löbbert chorus master

Adrian Pereyra electric guitar

At the Invitation of the Berliner Philharmoniker

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, op. 55 “Eroica”: 1st Movement

Brett Dean

Testament − Music for Orchestra

Bernhard Wulff

Carillon for sounds (arr. for students of the Bundesjugendorchester and the BBZ Stegen)

Christine Löbbert chorus master

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, op. 55 “Eroica”: 2nd Movement

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, op. 55 “Eroica”: 3rd Movement

Mark Barden

the weight of ash for electric guitar and orchestra − commissioned by the Bundesjugendorchester

Adrian Pereyra electric guitar

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, op. 55 “Eroica”: 4th Movement

Dates and Tickets



“You are sensationally good!” Sir Simon Rattle once said. When the members of the Bundesjugendorchester (BJO, the National Youth Orchestra of Germany) pick up their instruments, they captivate audiences, critics and conductors alike with their exuberant energy and remarkable professionalism. But the 14- to 19-year-old members of the BJO still have their regular musical studies ahead of them as a rule – assuming that they decide to opt for this. The intention to make music their profession is not one of the requirements for acceptance into the orchestra established by the German Music Council. Instead, the orchestra is focussed on a love for music, the desire to be a team player and a high level of technical proficiency: “I can see clearly that the young musicians really want to give their best, perhaps even more,” says Kirill Petrenko, chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker. In 2013 the Philharmoniker assumed the sponsorship of the outstanding young ensemble, which is why they invite the young musicians to Berlin every year. Many former members of the Bundesjugendorchester now play in professional orchestras or have become well-known soloists, including Sabine Meyer, Christian Tetzlaff and Tabea Zimmermann. Tours have taken the BJO, which has been led by conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Kurt Masur, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Simon Rattle and Kirill Petrenko, throughout Europe as well as to North and South America, Asia and Africa.

Christoph Altstaedt

“Music, art and literature give consolation, strength, encouragement and joy to people in every phase of life. I would like as many people as possible to enjoy these riches,” says Christoph Altstaedt, who wants to “entertain long-time concertgoers as informatively and humorously” as people “who are attending their first concert.” In addition to new opera formats, the versatile musician also develops programmes for opera galas and New Year’s concerts, which he moderates himself. Altstaedt studied conducting at the University of Music in Detmold, where he also studied piano with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, before transferring to the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin. Today he is a much sought-after guest at prestigious opera houses and concert halls as well as festivals such as Salzburg and Savonlinna. Since his tenure as pianist and assistant conductor of the  Bundesjugendorchester (National Youth Orchestra of Germany), Altstaedt has enjoyed working with youth orchestras. From 2002 to 2006 he led the ensemble of the Julius Stern Institute at the University of the Arts in Berlin. He has also conducted the state youth orchestras of Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Saxony and Saarland, the orchestras of the Lübeck Academy of Music and the University of Music in Graz as well as the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie: “I am very grateful that I have been able to meet so many inspiring young people over the years. Long after these working phases end, I continue to derive lasting pleasure from the enthusiasm and idealism of the young musicians.”

Adrian Pereyra

“My work as an interpreter unfolds at the intersection of instrumental and electronic music, with a passion for contemporary music. I am fascinated by the opportunity to work closely with composers to research and develop new sounds and techniques on both the classical and electric guitar,” says the Munich guitarist Adrian Pereyra, who has appeared in a wide range of concerts, musical and dance theatre productions, working with conductors such as Sylvain Cambreling, Daniel Harding, Peter Eötvös and Hans Zender. The musician, who is fascinated by the immense tonal variety of the electric guitar, has been a sought-after guest soloist with the Bavarian and Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestras and appeared at festivals including the Biennales in Venice, Munich and Lyon as well as the Donaueschingen Festival and Witten New Music Festival, Vienna Modern and the Salzburg Festival. His philosophy, he says, was “profoundly influenced by my participation in the creation of new works, performances of world premieres and long-standing collaborations and friendships with wonderful musicians, composers and conductors.” Together with Ruben Mattia Santorsa, Adrian Pereyra launched the guitar duo santorsa~pereyra in 2020, an ensemble that plays classical acoustic and electric guitars and is known for its versatility and love of experimentation.

Bildungs- und Beratungszentrum für Hörgeschädigte Stegen

The Bildungs- und Beratungszentrum für Hörgeschädigte Stegen (Education and Counselling Centre for the Hearing Impaired) in Stegen in the district of Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald is a state special education and counselling centre focussing on “hearing”. The school, which is funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg, has a boarding school where more than half of the students live during the week. The BBZ Stegen also includes a preschool facility with two groups in which children with normal hearing are accepted. All told, more than 300 students attend the school, which essentially consists of a primary school, a vocational secondary school, a secondary school with an orientation level and an academically oriented secondary school. The BBZ offers the hearing impaired better conditions than integration into a comprehensive school, since a maximum of ten students learn together in acoustically optimized rooms equipped with auditory training systems.