Berlin Philharmonic concertmaster quits to join Leipzig

Andreas Buschatz, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic since 2010, will join the Leipzig Gewandhaus in that position from next season. The difference? In Berlin, he was one of four concertmasters. In Leipzig he will be one of three.

First of the Rattle crew to jump ship?

Maybe he just likes Andris Nelsons…

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  • He’s “concertmaster” in Berlin but that’s the #4 position behind First Concertmasters Strabawa, Bendix-Balgley and Kashimoto. That would be “associate concertmaster” in most orchestras. So if he’s going to the #1 job in Leipzig, that’s just movement to a better job. Perfectly normal. Not everything is a defection.

  • It’s not because of Rattle or Nelsons.
    Very simply in the Berlin Philharmonic Buschatz is Konzertmeister – which means assistant 1. Konzertmeister – while in the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig he’s going to be 1. Konzertmeister.
    It’s simply a better position.
    Kudos to him and good luck for this new dream job in one of the finest orchestras in the world.

  • Other possible factors:

    — Leipzig is a better orchestra
    — Housing is cheaper in Leipzig
    — Leipzig has fewer immigrants, is safer
    — Petrenko looks less exciting than Nelsons

    • Here is what my reliable sources in Berlin told me why Mr. Buschatz is switching jobs:

      -the Saxonian dialect is so much more charming
      -the beer is much better in Leipzig
      -Johann Wolfgang Goethe studied in Leipzig
      -Mr. Buschatz likes cities with an L better than cities with a B
      -Leipzig is a bit closer to Bavaria and the mountains
      -Mr. Buschatz was just bored in his old job
      -Leipzig has a Porsche factory
      -the airport in Leipzig is actually open for business
      -Christian Thielemann made Mr. Buschatz personally responsible for his loss at winning the Berlin Phil chief position and told him he has a year to leave town.
      -it’s Putin’s fault.

        • Last time I looked there is no such thing as European citizenship. There is German citizenship, there is Latvian citizenship, and if you’re a Latvian working in Germany, you’re a Latvian immigrant in Germany, just as if you’re a German working in Latvia you’re a German immigrant in Latvia.

          For instance, you can’t vote in national elections as an immigrant, etc., etc.

    • Nelsons more exciting that Kirill Petrenko? Allow me to doubt. Petrenko is hyper-exciting, his music making is way more thrilling and he does way less spasms with his faces and arms….

    • It’s true; Leipzig does have fewer immigrants – well, it did in 2015 when I was there but that has probably changed now. The resultant loss of identity is inexorable. I think a suitable analogy is the wallpaper Claude Debussy had in Chou Chou’s room when he wrote ‘Children’s Corner Suite”. All decorated with lots and lots of different animals in a relentlessly repetitive pattern of sameness.

      But you are free to disagree POLITELY.

      • Almost every single major German musical entity is led by an immigrant, and populated by immigrant players. Ahhh, the good ol’ days, when you could purge orchestras of Jews and gypsies and homosexuals…

        • It is not “Jews and gypsies and homosexuals…” as you put it that people have concerns about here in Europe, but the propensity of those following the sick political ideology that is islam to blow people up, shoot cartoonists, drive lorries into holidaymakers or randomly slaughter innocent people on the streets of European cities. So spare us the “virtue signalling” and get real!

          • Why putting every immigrant in the same ‘basket’? I am sorry, but while I do see some problems with the massive muslim immigration, I do not see it in EU internal immigration.

  • Mr Lebrecht, how are you being so wrong? The Gewandhausorchester has three 1. concertmaster, the same like BPh, who are having no hierarchy. This is normal by German Orchestras. Hr. Buschatz is naturaly happy as one from three 1. Concertmaster in Leipzig with Hr. Erben and Hr. Breuninger.

    • but don’t you know that Norman gets is wron often….he also most probably didnt hear Petrenko often – he is right now the most exciting conductor around and a great choice after a rather flat period at the Berliner

  • Didn’t he played Berio’s sequenza some years ago @ Digital Concert Hall? He is amazing. Congrats to him!

    P.S. Leipzig is likely a more cooperative, less egomaniac orchestra like the Berliner.

    • ‘Yes’ regarding Berio and ‘probably’ regarding your P.S.
      Also, he wasn’t chosen as ‘1. Konzertmeister’ in Berlin. He started as a section player in the Berlin Phil’s 1st violins, before winning the audition for the ‘Konzertmeister’ position five years later. He tried for the ‘1. Konzertmeister’ position held by Braunstein before he left but the orchestra chose Noah Bendix-Balgley in the end (Berlin Phil auditions are not blind and while not necessarily the case with Buschatz, knowing with certainty that your colleagues overwhelmingly didn’t think you right for a certain position bruises some egos more than others).

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