Berlin Phil biz chief becomes Berlin Symphony conductor

Berlin Phil biz chief becomes Berlin Symphony conductor


norman lebrecht

April 16, 2021

The Berliner Symphoniker, which has been without a chief conductor since Lior Shambadal stepped down in 2019, has appointed a local successor.

He is Hansjörg Schellenberger, 73, former principal oboist of the Berlin Philharmonic and half of the Schelli-Gelli player duo that brokered at huge Sony recording deal in the rampant 1990s.

That’s quite a homecoming.



  • Pedro says:

    Good for him and for the orchestra. In his prime he was the best oboist in the world. That’s a good re-start for everyone concerned.

  • BRUCEB says:

    I never heard of a “Schelli-Gelli duo” before, and Google was not helpful. Can anyone explain?

    • Thomasina says:

      I’m not sure and I’ve never heard of the name ” Schelli-Gelli ” but I think it’s probably the duo with Ms. Margit-Anne Süß(harp)(“süß” means “sweet” in English…so, gelli sweet? just my imagination). They played together in Tokyo at least in 2009 and I heard they were a couple.

    • Bill says:

      Bernd Gellermann, violin…

    • JohnB says:

      In addition to his work as principal oboist of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Hansjörg Schellenberger managed the orchestra’s business in the area of phonographic and television productions from 1983 to 1997.

      His “partner” was the violinist Bernd Gellermann, who from 1983 – 1995 was managing director of the Berliner Philharmoniker GbR, which represented the media rights of the members of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Following his membership of the Berlin Philharmonic, Gellermann became artistic director (Intendant) of the Munich Philharmonic from 1997 – 2004, and from 2006 – 2009 he was artistic director (Künstlerischer Leiter) of the Richard-Strauss-Tage in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

  • RW2013 says:

    Better the eighth orchestra of Berlin than none at all.

  • MacroV says:

    Well, his greatest claim to fame was (and will always be) as BPO principal oboe (him and Lothar Koch, quite a tandem). He retired when still pretty young and fit. I don’t think he ever left Berlin so probably not that big a homecoming.

  • Edgar Self says:

    What a succession of fine solo oboists the Berlin Philharmonic had: Schellenberger, Karl Steins, and I think Helmut Koch.