A sixth music director quits – this time in Berlinmain
It must be something in the air that has prompted six resignations in as many weeks.
This one is less hasty than some of the others.
Tughan Sokhiev, who recently became music director of the Bolshoi, has discovered the immensity of that nightmare job. Tugan, 37, has decided to leave the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and has given them 18 months to find a suitable successor.
Press release follows.
Tugan Sokhiev announced today that he will not extend his current contract as Music Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin beyond 2016. He assumed the position in September 2012 after two years as Music Director Designate.
“The tasks I have taken on at the Bolshoi Theatre at the beginning of this year are more monumental than it was possible to predict when I took up the position. They require too much presence and attention on my part in the medium-term to allow me to stay with my orchestra and fulfil my duties in Berlin with good conscience. The DSO is an excellent ensemble which deserves an artistic leader who is able to perform the exhilarating and demanding tasks to the full and who does not have to divide his energies in this way,” the 37 year-old conductor explains his decision. “The DSO is a first class orchestra in fantastic shape and we will realise many wonderful projects together during this season and those to come.”
Musicians committee chair Matthias Kühnle: “We greatly regret Tugan Sokhiev’s decision not to be available to extend his time as head of our orchestra, but we do respect it. We have achieved a great deal together in the past years, and we are looking forward to our future projects with much anticipation.” Managing Director Alexander Steinbeis adds: “The orchestra has developed fantastically in repertoire and in its sound under Sokhiev. Even after his departure as Music Director he will remain closely associated with the DSO and will return annually to conduct the orchestra in Berlin.”
Thomas Kipp, General Manager of Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre GmbH (roc berlin), emphasises: “The DSO is currently in excellent shape,
due in no small part to Tugan Sokhiev, and is strongly positioned both artistically and economically.” The Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin can look back on a remarkably successful development in the past three years with a constant percentage of more than 80% of seats sold – 83% in the past concert year – approximately 73,000 audience members in Berlin alone, and a continuous increase in the number of
subscribers. With Tugan Sokhiev, the orchestra is setting new accents in the cultural life of the capital city, particularly in the Russian-Slavic and French repertoire. The recording recently released of Prokofiev’s ‘Ivan the Terrible’ on Sony Classical has been highly praised by the press. Other CD releases are pending. The DSO and its Music Director will tour together in Europe and to Japan in the next two years.