German music director hits back at absent conductor

Gabriel Feltz, the German music director of the Belgrade Philharmonic which has been under attack from the German guest conductor Jun Maerkl, has asked us to publish his comments on the furore.

Feltz, 48, writes to Slipped Disc (in English):

Mr. Märkl’s comment(s) suprised me a lot and makes me very sad. He doesn`t know the orchestra at all and I`m sure he will regret this. I don`t like to comment the specific facts which created this situation beetwen my collegues in Belgrade and Mr. Märkl because I wasn`t there at this time. But I absolutely can`t believe that they did anything of what Mr. Märkl described. This is not the way how we work in Belgrade.
My cooperation with Beogradska Filharmonija, the Belgrad Philharmonic Orchestra exist(s) now more than ten years. Since September 2017 I`m very glad to work in this beautiful city as chief conductor. Without any doubt I can defenitely say – this orchestra is a treasure!
Always passionate, curious for the opinion of the conductor, highly trained and on stage during the performance, like a real dream team – with an amazing will and spirit to give always the very very best. I never met a guest conductor wh(o) didn`t want to be re-invited again. Many soloists, singers, conductors, agents and other people made also a lot of very positive comments – also  about the administration and organisation – including the employees there.
Gabriel Feltz, Dortmund 13.01.2020
Generalmusikdirektor der Stadt Dortmund
Chefdirigent der Dortmunder Philharmoniker
шеф-диригент Београдске Филхармоније
Chief-Conductor Belgrade Philharmonic
UPDATE: We hear that Belgrade Philharmonic  is discussing legal action against Jun Maerkl for breach of contract. His concerts this week have been taken over by Uroš Lajovic, the Belgrade Phil’s former chief.

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  • Bill says:

    Other chap was complaining about contractual matters, not how the orchestra played for him.

  • Howard Griffiths says:

    I can only reiterate the comments of Gabriel Feltz. This is a very committed orchestra with a wonderful team working back office.

  • Jonathan Sutherland says:

    I have heard the Belgrade Philharmonic several times under both Gabriel Feltz and Daniel Raiskin. It is certainly the preeminent orchestra in the Balkans with an especially strong cello section. As any foreigner who has tried to conduct business in the Balkans knows, most endeavours are fraught with varying degrees of corruption and interminable complications. Jun Märkl may have been ill-prepared for the usual Slavic contractual contortions but his intemperate outburst affords him no credit whatsoever. Maestro Märkl is lucky he wasn’t dealing with Bogdan Roščić.

  • Bojan Drndić says:

    It doesn’t make sense for a renowned orchestra like the Belgrade Philharmonic to undermine its own concert season and vilify its good name over a petty legal issue involving an artist with a big name and probably an even bigger ego. So, to quote a famous U.S. prosecution lawyer and judge: “if it doesn’t make sense it’s not true!”

  • Michael says:

    Petty ego maniac. Belgrade Philharmonics is better off without him!

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