Aussie stick wins third German orchestra

Aussie stick wins third German orchestra


norman lebrecht

December 21, 2017

Nicholas Milton, who is stepping down as Generalmusikdirektor of the Saarländisches Staatsorchester ‘for personal reasons’, will take over next year as chief conductor in Gottingen.

Before Saarland, he spent six years as chief with the Jenaer Philharmonie.


  • RW2013 says:

    “He is the first Aussie ever to be a German GMD”
    Poor old Simone – out of sight, out of mind…

  • Andreas B. says:

    well, he was first:
    2004 in Jena.
    Young 2005 in Hamburg.

    So he is first and third and fourth …

  • Dominic Stafford says:

    Erm…Sir Charles MacKerras, Hamburg, 66-69?

    • Andreas B. says:


      but I’m confused:
      wasn’t Sawallisch chief conductor at the time (I believe 61 to 73)?

      perhaps one was responsible for opera, three other for concerts …

      • Dominic Stafford says:

        I know not! Here’s my source:

        Note, it’s written by Alan Blyth, who was covering international opera at the time MacKerras was Chief Conductor and whose obits are so good they are still being used (even though he died in 200&)!

        • Dominic Stafford says:

          The same is listed in Grove. Interestingly, if you read Swallisch’s entry in Grove in notes only ‘orchestral appointments in Hamburg and Vienna’…

        • Andreas B. says:

          on the orchestra’s page he isn’t even mentioned …

          could he just have been kapellmeister at the opera, rather than chief conductor?

          • Another Hasbeen says:

            Sir Charles was 1st Kapellmeister in Hamburg but Leopold Ludwig was GMD of the Opera (a post he held between 1951 and 1971). During Ludwig’s time at the Opera the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester had a separate GMD (Keilberth then Sawallisch) before the posts were reunited in the person of Horst Stein. Before Ludwig the posts were both held by Eugen Jochum from the time the two orchestras had merged in 1934.

          • dorset Richard says:

            sir Charles was offered the chance to replace Konwitchsky in Berlin, but as it was in east berlin with the non convertible Ostmark, he could not afford to accept.

  • Chris says:

    Not strictly Germany, but…Nicholas Carter, incoming GMD Klagenfurt?

    • Nik says:

      Erm, what do you mean by “not strictly”?
      It’s not Germany. Period. The annexation of Austria was declared null and void in 1945.

  • Andreas B. says:

    the headline remains incorrect, whatever the historical details of Australian conducting talent in German orchestras might look like …

    it is Milton’s THIRD German orchestra, after Jena and Saarbrücken.