Maestro move: Headless orchestra is rushed into choice

Maestro move: Headless orchestra is rushed into choice


norman lebrecht

June 18, 2017

We had been looking forward to an audition season at the Bremen Philharmonic, where 16 guest conductors – some fabulously promising – had been booked to compete for the podium vacancy.

But that was too much uncertainty for the music biz to bear so the orchestra has got pushed into making an early choice. Marko Letonja, a 55 year-old Slovene, has been named music director from September 2018.

Letonja is already music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and artistic director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Bremen is just another notch on his bedpost.

UPDATE: The original position of GMD der Stadt Bremen has been split in two – GMD of the Bremer Philharmoniker (Letonja) and Music Director of the Opera House, which is the Israeli, Yoel Gamzou. Both will work as guests with the other side.


  • John Borstlap says:

    Letonja is a brilliant ‘no-nonsense’ conductor not interested in show, but entirely in content. Good for Bremen, as he is already for Strasbourg.

  • Emma McGrath says:

    Marko is utterly fabulous and we love him here in Tasmania! He only has one and a half more seasons here. We are all very happy for him!