Bavarian Radio chief quits

Bavarian Radio chief quits


norman lebrecht

June 30, 2020

Martin Wagner, 66, long-standing head of Bavarian Radio and its orchestras, has left abruptly after 40 years.

He said: ‘I always felt at home with BR and I enjoyed going to work every day. Journalism is a wonderful professional excuse to satisfy my own curiosity. It has always been my motivation over the years. I have no master plan for my retirement – I have worked eight hours or more every day for the past 40 years and am happy to do nothing now. I will not miss the many meetings, but my colleagues will.’


  • Henry williams says:

    When one reaches the age of 66 .it is about time one should retire to let a younger generation obtain employment.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      I wholeheartedly agree. Too many people let their ego get in the way of their judgement, thinking that they are just TOO valuable to step down. No one is that irreplaceable, and we should allow another generation the opportunities we were afforded, especially in today’s economy.

      As I’ve learned, retirement is a blessing. I’m just grateful not to have waited until I could no longer enjoy it.

      • Henry williams says:

        Iam pleased i retired at 65 . At age 77 i was hit by a car at a crossing
        Iam now disabled. If i would of known i would of retired earlier.

    • The View from America says:

      … even as the two major-party presidential candidates, Senate Majority Leader, Speaker of the House and nearly every other leader in the U.S. Congress are over the age of 70 (or 80). :-/

      • Bostin'Symph says:

        The Senate, by definition, should be peopled by the elderly, perhaps?

      • John Kelly says:

        Term limits would fix that problem…….

        • Bill says:

          No, not necessarily — it would just mean they started their posts later. Not like Trump has been a lifelong holder of political office, and would not have been hindered at all by term limits. Nor would Hillary Clinton, if she had prevailed in the 2016 election. From what I’ve seen, term limits merely limit the time people hold one specific post, but there are still plenty of long-term politicians, they just spend more of their time in office doing on-the-job training.

    • HugoPreuss says:

      You mean people like Bernard Haitink or Günter Wand or Eugen Jochum should have stopped much earlier? Or today, René Jacobs and Marek Janowski and Ton Koopman should resign right away and “let a younger generation obtain employment”?

      • Emil says:

        As MDs, absolutely, IMO. It’s ridiculous to pretend that 77-year old Barenboim actually runs his opera house. He’s likely got an army of staff doing it for him. And management’s not where experienced conductors can benefit an orchestra. Let them become principal guest conductors, pick up residencies, give masterclasses, work with youth orchestras, etc. That way, they can still make music and pass on their expertise, while making way for a new generation with new ideas. It’ll be better for everyone.

  • Mock Mahler says:

    The quotation has him saying he will not miss the many meetings but his colleagues will miss the meetings. Surely what he said was: I will not miss the meetings but I will miss my colleagues.

    • pure fool says:

      Indeed he did. His exact words were: Ich werde keine Sitzungen vermissen, aber eben Kolleginnen und Kollegen.

  • Eleanor says:

    Nothing sudden about him retiring!

  • MezzoLover says:

    Sad but not surprised to see him go.

    As Hörfunkdirektor, Martin Wagner has succeeded in not only ensuring the high artistic standard and profile of the three BR-affiliated orchestras and the Bavarian Radio Chorus, but also building and growing the BR brand as a cultural icon.

    However, with the passing of the BRSO’s chief conductor Mariss Jansons in late 2019, the devastation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic to Germany’s cultural sector, and the austerity measures Bavarian Radio was forced to take recently and will no doubt accelerate in the coming years, perhaps for him the job is just not worth doing anymore.

    Vielen Dank, Herr Wagner.

  • Germany has mandatory retirement laws.

  • Gustavo says:

    The quality of BR Klassik is going down.

    Right now there is too much Corona talk, too much talk in general, including traffic news, yet missing or even wrong information about the broadcasted music and recordings.

    This missing information may be found in the internet, but I don’t listen to the radio to find myself looking things up online.

    That defeats the object.