New baton in Baden-Baden

New baton in Baden-Baden


norman lebrecht

July 01, 2021

The town of Baden-Baden has named a new Philharmonic chief conductor.

Heiko Mathias Förster, 55, is a former chief of the Munich Symphony and the Janacek Philharmonic in Ostrava.

During a rigorous selection process, we are informed, ‘Heiko Mathias Förster demonstrated with excellent time management and the highest level of professionalism that he works at the top level.’

If that’s what they’re looking for, that’s what they’ll find.


  • La belle plus voix says:

    An excellent choice! He’s deserved a good band for quite a while now.

  • fflambeau says:

    “Excellent time management”, whatever that means, is at the top of their requirements? It says a lot about the group. Good find, NL.

    • Pierre says:

      Have you ever worked in an orchestra? Time management is of the utmost importance – in general it means the conductor says little while expressing a lot with his conducting technique, and in the rehearsal process, balances ideally the finer points and the overall global vision of an interpretation. 😛

  • Gustavo says:

    With his Beathoven-like hairstyle and a tendency to put time management first, he is definitely in possession of at least one metronome.

    The question inevitably arises as to why a metronome is not placed in front of the orchestra.

    It’s probably not about music, but about post-pandemic financial budgeting and the flexibility of permanently employed veterans.

    They simply cannot afford a tired-of-life Riccardo Muti and have gone for an incarnation of the metronome who is about to retire.

    • La plus belle voix says:

      Dear Gostavo, Nobody ever claimed he puts time management first. So don’t be fooled by the PR claptrap, it probably just means his audition went rather well. Your “Beathoven” is fairly risible though!

  • Gustavo says:

    “Heiko Mathias Förster, 65″…?

    He is only 55 – so he will not enter retirement right away.

    At least another 10 years of ruthless time management.

    He would be the right one for LSO during film music takes.

    • La plus belle voix says:

      Dear Gostavo, It seems you have some kind of grudge against the conductor.

      For the record, the Commission set up to find the best candidate stated this:

      “The process was carried out in two stages: Initially, 15 of the 80 applicants were invited to a first audition and interview. Then the search committee and the orchestra agreed on four applicants for the final round. During the final selection process each candidate was faced with extreme challenges which could be put down to particularly demanding repertoire, inexperienced younger soloists, an extremely tight rehearsal schedule, as well as a continuous video recording.”

  • Gustavo says:

    But Gergiev is still the most economic living rehearser…time-budget-wise.

    It used to be Gennadi.

  • T.I. Me says:

    Boulez was not particularly good at time management so he would not have been chosen?