The traditional appearance of the National Youth Orchestra of Germany at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival ended this year with a special highlight: Sir Simon Rattle, who performed Béla Bartók’s ballet music The Wooden Prince with the young musicians, was named honorary conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Germany – in recognition of their many years' work together.
Since the Berliner Philharmoniker took over the sponsorship of the ensemble in 2013, Simon Rattle has conducted the youth orchestra on a regular basis. “I love this orchestra. You play wonderfully and you are our future. With music in your hands, I am full of hope,” as he said after the award ceremony. The first encounter between the conductor and the National Youth Orchestra of Germany took place in 2011. At that time Sir Simon Rattle conducted a performance of Anton Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony.