François-Xavier Roth (photo: Holger Talinski)

François-Xavier Roth and Albrecht Mayer

Igor Stravinsky was a composer of the avant-garde, but he also frequently took up the legacy of music history. François-Xavier Roth, general music director of the city of Cologne, presents both sides during this concert. On the one hand, there is the groundbreaking ballet Petrushka, which combines a magical fairground atmosphere with a visionary musical idiom. In his charming Divertimento, on the other hand, Stravinsky pays his respects to Peter Tchaikovsky’s ballets. No less graceful is Johann Sebastian Bach’s Oboe Concerto in A major, performed by Albrecht Mayer, principal oboe of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Berliner Philharmoniker

François-Xavier Roth conductor

Albrecht Mayer oboe d'amore

Igor Stravinsky

Divertimento, orchestral suite after the ballet Le Baiser de la fée

Johann Sebastian Bach

Concerto for Oboe d'amore, Strings and Continuo in A major, BWV 1055R

Albrecht Mayer oboe d'amore

Igor Stravinsky

Petrushka (First Version from 1911)

Dates and Tickets


François-Xavier Roth is a musical visionary – an immensely versatile conductor who, paradoxical as it may sound, specialises in the universal. His repertoire ranges from early Baroque to the present day and includes the core symphonic repertoire as well as exciting discoveries. Roth first trained as a flautist at the Conservatoire de Paris and played in the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris before changing to conducting. Since 2015, he has been Kapellmeister of the Gürzenich Orchester and general music director of the city of Cologne, where he has caused a sensation with his exceptionally innovative programming. The charismatic maestro has led the original sound ensemble Les Siècles, which he founded, to international success in a very short time – not least because he employs historical research in his explorations of music, which alternate between delicate refinement and stormy force. Depending on the work, and often alternating during the same concert, the members of Les Siècles adapt their instruments to the respective repertoire – which increases the pleasure of the result, as the familiar can be presented in a new light with sharpened colours. Roth is principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, artiste associé of the Philharmonie de Paris, and was recently appointed artistic director of the Atelier Lyrique in Tourcoing, home of Les Siècles.

Albrecht Mayer, principal oboist of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 1992, is one of the most sought-after oboists in the world. His sound ideal is orientated towards the Baroque oboe, which, as he says, provides an “instrumental 'vox humana' across all registers with a wonderfully mellow sound”. With a richly modulated tone and unique legato, the acclaimed virtuoso has been inspired as much by singers such as Fritz Wunderlich as by Daniel Barenboim “when he plays a Mozart piano concerto”. As a child, Meyer received singing lessons in addition to piano and recorder lessons before he began playing the oboe at the age of ten. He began his professional career in 1990 as principal oboist of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra until he joined the Berliner Philharmoniker in the same position. In order to realise his tonal ideas to the utmost, the multiple Echo Award winner founded the ensemble New Seasons, with which he recorded among other things the album Vocalise: “Melodious sound without end” (Rondo). His CD In Search of Mozart with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Claudio Abbado remained in the German classical music charts for months, and the album New Seasons with Handel transcriptions even made it into the German pop charts.

François-Xavier Roth (photo: Holger Talinski)

Albrecht Mayer (photo: Sebastian Haenel)

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François-Xavier Roth

“Stravinsky and Bach have a real groove”