Berlin’s new chief conductor will start after baby break

Berlin’s new chief conductor will start after baby break


norman lebrecht

August 31, 2021

The Konzerthausorchester Berlin has named Joanna Mallwitz as chief conductor for five seasons.

Mallwitz, 35, resigned recently as GMD in Nuremberg to have her first baby this autumn.

In Berlin, she will succeed the stopgap octogenarian Christoph Eschenbach.



  • RW2013 says:

    Once the octogenarians have been disposed of, it’s pretty much slim pickings all-round.

  • Müller says:

    These are not bad news for Berlin but SAD news for Berlin. After great conductors like Ivan Fischer and Christoph Eschenbach no possible to go wronger ! ! ! My condolences to the members of the Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin

  • Duncan says:

    Good luck to Jo. She was hugely talented as a young girl (I knew her when she came to England for a spell of English education) and deserves to do well. The nay-sayers should shut up and give her (and other youngsters) a chance.

  • May says:

    The new German celebration of mediocrity. Exceptional talent and performance are shunned in favour of average persons performing duties formerly done by exceptionally talented people. Welcome to the new boring. And it is not limited to one gender: the men are also virtually indistinguishable in their unremarkableness.

    • Tamino says:

      That’s because all prosperous western countries have chosen convenience, not artistic excellence, as their highest aspiration.
      Exceptionally talented people are usually demanding and inconvenient. So the evolution toward mediocrity is just logical.

  • Evan Tucker says:

    A conductor who gets everything right in their thirties is doing it by accident. 5-10% of conductors know what they’re doing before 40. F— the haters, Mallwitz is genuinely talented. Those who don’t see it have nobody but themselves to blame. If Berlin’s #4 orchestra wants to take a chance on a talented but unproven youngster, who should stand in their way?

    …and she’s certainly more talented than Ticciati….

    • Tamino says:

      I agree. Also a smart move by the management of Konzerthausorchester. They are anything but safe in their public funding, compared to the other established orchestras in Berlin. Having a woman as chief conductor gives them a higher level of protection.


    A good choice for Berlin. I have only seen her conduct opera – War and Peace and Lohengrin in Nuremberg, Pelleas and Penelope in Frankfurt and Cosi in Salzburg. I thought all were excellent and showed a deep understanding over a wide range of works. I will certainly want to see her Rusalka in Dresden next year though I pray we do not have another white box from Christof Loy and Johannes Leiacker