Berlin gets its man (and woman)

Berlin gets its man (and woman)


norman lebrecht

October 06, 2016

The Mayor of Berlin announced today that he ad signed a new music director and general manager for the philharmonic orchestra. Release follows.



New General Manager for the Berliner Philharmoniker

Contract signing of Kirill Petrenko and Andrea Zietzschmann

The chairman of the board of trustees, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, today signed the contracts with Kirill Petrenko as chief conductor, and Andrea Zietzschmann as general manager of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation. Kirill Petrenko will take up his position on 19 August 2019.

In the spring of last year, the Berliner Philharmoniker elected Kirill Petrenko as successor to Sir Simon Rattle who will leave the post in 2018. The orchestral and cultural manager Andrea Zietzschmann will become the new general manager of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation on 1 September 2017, taking over the position from Martin Hoffmann who is leaving at his own request.

The Governing Mayor Michael Müller: “I am delighted that we have succeeded today in signing the contracts of both Kirill Petrenko and Andrea Zietzschmann. We now have two internationally very well-connected, innovative and creative personalities at our side for the future work of the Berliner Phiharmoniker. In Andrea Zietzschmann, who takes up her position in 2017, a highly experienced cultural and orchestra manager will become the general manager of the most important orchestra in Germany. This forward-looking personnel decision has the full support of the orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle and Kirill Petrenko.”

Kirill Petrenko, future chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker: “I am delighted that Andrea Zietzschmann is to be the new general manager of the Berliner Philharmonker. She is very personable and as a result of many years of experience with various orchestras, she knows best how a musician’s soul functions. As such, Andrea Zietzschmann is perfectly equipped for the task.”

Knut Weber for the orchestra board: “We orchestra musicians are also looking forward to working with Andrea Zietzschmann. In addition to her wide-ranging experience in challenging management positions, she has proven skills and imagination in the development and planning of concert programmes. Moreover, we also share the experience of working closely together with Claudio Abbado at the same time. We look forward to a fruitful future and another exciting chapter in the history of the Berliner Philharmoniker.”

Sir Simon Rattle, chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker: “Andrea Zietzschmann has a remarkable portfolio of experience dealing both with large institutions and the delicacies of a self-governing orchestra. She is knowledgeable, smart and tough, all qualities which she will need in this famously demanding and difficult job. I am delighted to welcome her to the Berliner Philharmoniker family!”

Andrea Zietzschmann on her new position: “I see it as a great pleasure and privilege to accompany the work of the Berliner Philharmoniker from September 2017. I look forward to working with Sir Simon Rattle – and also to shaping the future of this extraordinary orchestra at the side of Kirill Petrenko and the musicians.”

Kirill Petrenko, born in Omsk, Russia in 1972, moved with his family to the Austrian Vorarlberg in 1990 when his father found a job as a violinist with the local symphony orchestra. In 1995, Kirill Petrenko made his debut as an opera conductor with this orchestra at just 23 years of age. When he was 30, Petrenko came to Berlin where he was music director of the Komische Oper Berlin from 2002 to 2007. He appeared as a guest conductor with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2006, 2009 and 2012. Petrenko has been general music director of the Bayerische Staastsoper since 2013.

Andrea Zietzschmann, born in 1970, studied musicology, business administration and art history in Freiburg, Vienna and Hamburg. While graduating with a Master of Arts, she worked in parallel with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. In 1997, she founded the Mahler Chamber Orchestra together with Claudio Abbado, and worked for six years as general manager of the ensemble. In 2003, she became the orchestra manager at Hessischer Rundfunk (HR), and in 2008, took on the role of head of music at HR, including responsibility for the broadcaster’s orchestras and festivals. Since September 2013, she has been manager of the four Norddeutscher Rundfunk orchestras and is head of NDR’s orchestral, choral and concert activities.




  • 5566hh says:

    The new manager looks impressive. The key point is that the orchestra will be without a chief conductor for the 18-19 season which will be interesting.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Is one season without a chief-conductor really so serious. Many major orchestras go several seasons without one.

  • Holly Golightly says:

    I find Petrenko just so hard on the eyes. It is distracting when I’m watching anything he conducts. A total turn-off.

    When I think how the talented and elegant Thielemann could have added panache to that orchestra.