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The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester is holding auditions for the position of concertmaster, to join the orchestra from the Special Project Mahler 8 (May 2020) onwards (as concertmaster starting with the Summer Tour 2020). This position is designed for a duration of 2 to 3 years. Auditions will take place in Vienna, Austria, between February 25th and 28th 2020.

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Our audition dates 2019 are online!
Apply now at become a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and join us for our projects in 2020.

In May 2020, we will tour through Europe with a special project when performing Mahler's Symphony No. 8 under the baton of Daniel Harding. Tour concerts will include the Mahler Festival in Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Grafenegg, Köln und Luxembourg.

For the Summer Tour 2020, Ingo Metzmacher will return to the GMJO after last conducting it in 2017. As always, the Summer Tour will bring us to some of the most important festivals in Europe, such as Salzburg Festival, Bolzano Festival, Elbphilharmonie Summer and will include season openings in Dresden and Pordenone.

Tobias Wögerer appointed Assistant Conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

(GMJO, 19.12.2018) Starting with the season 2018/19, TOBIAS WÖGERER is taking over the position of Assistant Conductor of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER. Born in Linz in 1991, he is currently one of the most promising Austrian conductors. As Assistant Conductor, he succeeds Lorenzo Viotti, who was appointed Music Director of the Orquestra Gulbenkian this season, and he stands in a line with eminent predecessors like Franz Welser-Möst, Manfred Honeck, Patrick Lange, David Afkham, and others.

TOBIAS WÖGERER will make his debut with the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER with two residency concerts during the Easter Tour 2019 at the Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon.

Tobias Wögerer:

The position of Assistant Conductor of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER is a thrilling and responsible task that means a lot to me and that I am very much looking forward to. Working together closely with one of the best youth orchestras over the course of several weeks is a unique opportunity which I shall pursue with full dedication. I am very happy to be given the opportunity to conduct two concerts of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER in Lisbon already in February 2019.

Alexander Meraviglia-Crivelli, Secretary General of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTERS:

The Assistant Conductor of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER is always appointed for several years and is of high importance to the orchestra. This position comes with great responsibility, and it provides a unique opportunity for extraordinary talents in orchestra conducting. The role of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER in supporting highly talented European orchestra musicians is well known – lesser known is the fact that numerous highly successful conductors were connected with the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER at the beginning of their career. The GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER is very much looking forward to working with TOBIAS WÖGERER, and we are very happy to welcome him as the first Austrian Assistant Conductor of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER since Franz Welser-Möst and Manfred Honeck.


TOBIAS WÖGERER studied cello at the University “Mozarteum” Salzburg and at the University of Music and Arts in Vienna. Currently, he is studying orchestral conducting with Prof. Nicolás Pasquet and Prof. Ekhart Wycik at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar.

During the last couple of years, Tobias Wögerer created a lot of orchestral projects, he received invitations by numerous orchestras and was able to build his reputation as a conductor. In 2013, he founded the orchestra “Symphonic Ensemble Aktuell” and became Music Director of the Euregio Youth Orchestra, which he led until 2016. Moreover, he was a regular guest conductor of the Philharmonie Salzburg and collaborated with renowned soloists such as Benjamin Schmid, Olga Scheps or Nikolai Tokarev.

In fall 2016, he led his first opera production, Der Kaiser von Atlantis by Victor Ullmann, at the Linz Brucknerfest. In March 2017, he had his successful debut with the Bruckner Orchester Linz, and shortly after that he conducted a fulminant concert with his own orchestra “Symphonic Ensemble Aktuell” at the Vienna Konzerthaus. In summer 2017, he led the Vienna Philharmonic’ Opera Camps at the Salzburg Festival, for which he was invited again to Salzburg in 2018.

Besides his work as Assistant Conductor of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER, the season 2018/19 includes a tour to China with the Philharmonie Salzburg, several concerts in Japan and a number of New Year’s Concerts with the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester.


(1)   Tobias Wögerer © Winkler
(2)   Tobias Wögerer & Alexander Meraviglia-Crivelli © Archive GMJO / Gautier Capuçon

LOUVRE ABU DHABI OPENING November 2017 Universal Expressions: The Concert of the GMJO with Christoph Eschenbach and Gautier Capuçon for the Louvre Abu Dhabi

At the invitation of the governments of Abu Dhabi (Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi) and France (Institut Français and Ambassade de France aux Emirats Arabes Unis), the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER was guest-appearing as part of the official Emirati-French cultural programme as orchestra in residence with several concerts in Abu Dhabi in March 2016.

Under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach (Ernst von Siemens Award Winner 2015), the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER performed in a special concert on 16 March 2016 titled "Universal Expressions: Concert inspired by Louvre Abu Dhabi".

Two compositions were specially commissioned for the occasion, receiving their world premiere on that day: Faisal Al Saari's Zayed's Dream (Variations on Emirati Melodies) with Faisal Al Saari, Oud and Bruno Mantovani's Once upon a time with Gautier Capuçon, cello – a former member of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER. In the second part of this special concert attended by Jean Nouvel, the architect of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and numerous Emirati and French officials, Debussy's La Mer was performed to great acclaim. MEZZO recorded this concert exclusively.


Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

Christoph Eschenbach (Conductor)

Faisal Al Saari (Oud)

Gautier Capuçon (Cello)

Faisal Al Saari: Zayed's Dream - Variations on Emirati Melodies (World Premiere)

Bruno Mantovani: Once upon a time (World Premiere)

Claude Debussy: La Mer, trois esquisses symphoniques pour orchestre


Recorded at the Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi on March 16, 2016  for the opening of the Emirati French Cultural Programme in Dialogue with the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Directed by Sébastien Glas

Photo credits:
© Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (1, 2, 3, 4)
© GMJO Archive (5, 6, 7) 

Lorenzo Viotti appointed Assistant Conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

Starting with the 2016/17 season, LORENZO VIOTTI takes over the position of Assistant Conductor of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER. Winner of three important conducting competitions (Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award 2015, Cadaqués and MDR), LORENZO VIOTTI is one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation. In this position, he succeeds Leo McFall, winner of the Deutscher Dirigentenpreis 2015, and he stands in a line with eminent predecessors like Franz Welser-Möst, Manfred Honeck, Patrick Lange, and David Afkham.

LORENZO VIOTTI shall conduct his first concerts with the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER within the framework of the Easter 2017 residency concerts at the Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon.

Lorenzo Viotti: 
I am very much looking forward to working with the musicians of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER. In the last years, I attended many concerts of the orchestra under the direction of the leading conductors of our time – today, I have arrived to work with the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER myself, and this is a wonderful challenge and responsability I am very much looking forward to.
Alexander Meraviglia-Crivelli, Secretary General of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER: 
The GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER is very happy to engage LORENZO VIOTTI, one of he most interesting conductors of his generation, for the important position of Assistant Conductor. As winner of several conducting competitions, most recently the Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Awards 2015, LORENZO VIOTTI is already in high demand from many orchestras and opera houses. It makes me very happy that he has decided to work intensively with the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER, starting with the 2016/17 season. His first two concerts with the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER will take place in Lisbon, during the Easter Tour 2017 residency at the Gubenkian Foundation, and there are many more concerts planned already now. 
We are tremendously looking forward to working with LORENZO VIOTTI.
Biography Lorenzo Viotti (with kind permission of Hilbert Artists Management):
With only 25 years Lorenzo Viotti was already winner of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Awards 2015, winner of the 11th international Cadaqués International Conducting Competition and laureate of the MDR Conducting Competition. 
Born in Lausanne, Lorenzo Viotti grew up in an Italian-French family of musicians. He studied piano, singing and percussion in Lyon and Vienna. He attended orchestral conducting classes under Professor Georg Mark in Vienna where at the same time he performed as percussionist in various major orchestras, among others the Wiener Philharmoniker. He continued his conducting classes under Nicolás Pasquet at the Franz Liszt-conservatory in Weimar.
His success at the Cadaqués Conducting Competition led to engagements with important international orchestras: Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Orchestre National de Lille. Furthermore, he conducted the Tokyo Symphony and the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestras, Bamberger Symphoniker, Bremer Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
His highly successful performance in LA BELLE HELENE at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in May 2015 was followed by Rossini’s LA CAMBIALE DI MATROMONIO at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and CARMEN in Klagenfurt. 
Two highly successful last-minute engagements in 2016 marked also his debut with distinguished orchestras: at the end of January, Lorenzo Viotti conducted three concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra replacing Franz Welser-Möst, and at the end of May he stepped in for Myung-Whun Chung conducting two concerts with the Wiener Symphoniker in Vienna. 
In July, he conducted a concert at the Verbier Festival which was crowned with huge success.
At the Salzburg Festival, he was praised for his debut with the RSO Wien in August 2016.
Future engagements include, among others, the Göteborgs Symfoniker, Tokyo and Osaka Symphony Orchestras, Staatskapelle Dresden, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Münchener Philharmoniker, and numerous productions at the opera houses of Klagenfurt, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Dresden, Zurich, Lyon, Paris, and Tokyo. 

Photo credits:
(1) Lorenzo Viotti & Alexander Meraviglia-Crivelli © Archiv GMJO / Bernhard Heinrichs
(2) Lorenzo Viotti & Alexander Meraviglia-Crivelli © Archiv GMJO / Bernhard Heinrichs


PIERRE BOULEZ 1925 - 2016




It is with profound sadness that the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester has to announce the passing away of Pierre Boulez, aged 90 years, in Baden-Baden.

Pierre Boulez was one of the greatest artists of the 20th and 21st century: composer, conductor, pianist, teacher, thinker, humanist.

He conducted the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester on several tours and for special projects in 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2003, and he made a number of recordings with our orchestra. Recently, his recordings with works by Schoenberg, Wagner, Stravinsky, Bartok and his own Notations I-IV were issued by Deutsche Grammophon.

He challenged and enrichened the public and the musicians of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester with his programmes and concepts which provided profound insights into the repertoire of the 20th century. The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, like some of the leading orchestra of the world, is honoured to have studied and performed repertoire from Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler, the Second Viennese School, Ravel, Debussy, Bartók, and Stravinsky to Edgard Varese, Toru Takemitsu and some of Pierre Boulez´ own works, at the most important festivals and concert halls in Europe and Japan.

He continued to visit our concerts until recently and remained always deeply interested in the GMJO.

We shall always honour the legacy of Pierre Boulez, and we mourn a great artist and close friend and supporter of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester.

Alexander Meraviglia-Crivelli, Secretary General of the GMJO:

It is a great privilege to have worked with Pierre Boulez on several tours and projects. Apart from the encounter with a great artist, I have enjoyed numerous discussions with him on music history, programming, questions of performance, respect, and – last but definitely not least – humour.
Pierre Boulez was truly one of the most impressive artistic and human encounters for me in all my years with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, and I am grateful and happy to have realised all GMJO projects with him. I have learned so much from our encounters and will always keep a loving and respectful memory of Pierre Boulez.

May he rest in peace.

Photo Credits:
© K. Miura /
Archive GMJO (1)
© Priska Ketterer /
Lucerne Festival (2)
Priska Ketterer / Lucerne Festival (3)
© K. Miura / Archive GMJO (4)
Priska Ketterer / Lucerne Festival (5)


Christoph Eschenbach and Tzimon Barto in the very successful Summer Tour 2014 of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

Appearing for the first time with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, conductor Christoph Eschenbach led the GMJO Summer Tour 2014, which was dedicated to the memory of our founder and music director Claudio Abbado. The current music director of the National Symphony Orchestra and of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. was joined by long-time artistic partner pianist Tzimon Barto, in his second project with the GMJO, after 1991.
The tour programmes featured Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto op. 16, Olivier Messiaen’s Les offrandes oubliées, Peter I. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, and the world-premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s Piano Concerto No. 2. As a joint commission of the Salzburg Festival, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, and the National Symphony Orchestra Washington D.C., the new concerto was one of the musical highlights of the summer. After the premiere in Salzburg, it was also performed by the GMJO in Italy and in Germany, being very well received by audiences everywhere.

The Summer Tour 2014 started with a residency in our partner-city of Bolzano/Bozen, followed by performances at the Salzburg Festival, at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (Hamburg and Lübeck), at the Stresa and Rimini Festivals, at the Semperoper Dresden – where it appeared at the invitation of the Staatskapelle Dresden –, at the Rheingau Music Festival (Kloster Eberbach), and at the Essen and Cologne Philharmonies.
The concerts were enthusiastically received by audiences and press alike: “L’orchestra risponde con intensità e compattezza: i componenti denotano sensibilità nell’esecuzione e piena sintonia” (l’ApeMusicale, 02.09.14);Solist Tzimon Barto beseelte das ihm gewidmete, wenig virtuos auftrumpfende Konzert poetisch und pointiert“ (Ruhr Nachrichten, 07.09.14); “Sprechend in der Artikulation entfesselten die jungen Musikerinnen und Musiker die Expressivität ebenso, wie sie das Lichte im Schluss zur formen wussten“ (Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, 05.09.14). And doyen Gerhard Rohde praised the performance of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 within the cycle of Bruckner symphonies that were performed at the Salzburg Festival by some of the world´s leading orchestras: “Christoph Eschenbachs Interpretation der Siebten überzeugte […] durch formale Disziplin, plastischen Klang und kluge Dispositionen.” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 03.09.2014).
Before the tour concerts began, and as in previous years, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester took part in the award-winner’s concert of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award (YCA). Young French conductor Maxime Pascal, winner of this year’s edition of the award, conducted the GMJO in a programme featuring works by Claude Debussy, Ernest Chausson (with mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa), and Igor Stravinsky: “Insgesamt schien das Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in jeder Sekunde bestrebt, seinem jungen Dirigenten jeden Gestaltungswunsch nicht nur vom Stab, sondern auch von Aug und Herz abzulesen: ein musikalisches Miteinander war das, wie man es sich lebendiger, aufmerksamer und damit wirkungsvoller nicht wünschen kann“ (, 18.08.14).

After the auditions that will take place during the winter in more than twenty European cities, the next project of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester will be the Easter Tour 2015, for which we will welcome back conductor Jonathan Nott, current principal conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, for performances of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in collaboration with various choirs. The residency will take place at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon and concerts are planned for Aix-en-Provence, Ljubljana, Vienna, Hamburg, Madrid, and Barcelona.

Photo credits:
Gregor Khuen Belasi
Salzburg Festival/Marco Borrelli/Lelli

Leo McFall is in the final of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award

Leo McFall, Assistant Conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, was chosen as one of three finalists in the prestigious Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award held every year in Salzburg. Victor Aviat from France (a former GMJO principal oboist) and Maxime Pascal, also from France, are the other two finalists. From the initial 82 applications, the jury selected seven conductors for a rehearsal day with theOesterreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik, after which the three final contestants were chosen.

The three finalists will take part in the Award Concert Weekend (February 28, March 1 and 2, 2014), during which each of them will conduct one concert at the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg: Maxime Pascalwill conduct the Camerata Salzburg with solo oboist Ramón Ortega Quero (February 28, 2014, 7:30 pm),Leo McFall will conduct the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg with pianist Jan Lisiecki (March 1, 2014, 7:30 pm), and Victor Aviat will conduct the Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra with solo violinist Veronika Eberle (March 2, 2014, 3:00 pm). The respective concert programmes are detailed below.

After the concerts, the jury chaired by Ingo Metzmacher will decide on the winner who, as part of the award, will conduct the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in a concert at the Salzburg Festival on August 17, 2014, in the framework of the GMJO Summer Tour 2014.

To know more about the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award, including the previous winners, visit:

Award Concert Weekend


Friday, 28 February 2014, 7:30 pm, Felsenreitschule
Camerata Salzburg
Maxime Pascal, Conductor

Ramón Ortega Quero, Oboe


Karlheinz Stockhausen: Fünf weitere Sternzeichen No. 41 12/13 out of the cycle Tierkreis

W. A. Mozart: Oboe Concerto in C major, K. 314

Maurice Ravel: Ma Mère l'oye


Saturday, 1 March 2014, 7:30 pm, Felsenreitschule
Mozarteumorchester Salzburg
Leo McFall, Conductor

Jan Lisiecki, Klavier


Hans Werner Henze: Fantasia for strings (1966) from the soundtrack of the film Der junge Törless by Volker Schlöndorff

W. A. Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466

Mark-Anthony Turnage: Lullaby for Hans (2005)

Joseph Haydn: Symphony in B flat major, Hob.I:98


Sunday, 2 March 2014, 3:00 pm, Felsenreitschule
Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg
Victor Aviat, Conductor

Veronika Eberle, Violin


Luigi Dallapiccola: Piccola musica notturna (1954)
W. A. Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K. 216

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, op. 92



Photo: Victor Aviat, Leo McFall and Maxime Pascal. Credit: Andreas Kolarick/Salzburg Festival


GMJO Auditions 2013

Want to join the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester?

Registration for the GMJO Auditions 2013 is now opened.

Just follow the link to know more and to apply online:
We look forward to see you in one of the 22 available cities!

Prof. Dr. Hans Landesmann (1932-2013)

It is with great sadness that the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER learned of the passing away of Prof. Dr. Hans Landesmann, the co-founder, first artistic director and first president (1986-1996) of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER.

An inspirational and influential personality in the international music business with a brilliant career linked to many prestigious institutions – from the Vienna Konzerthaus to the Salzburg Festival and the Wiener Festwochen –, Prof. Dr. Landesmann also was an eminent supporter of contemporary music.

Without his dedication and enthusiasm, the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER would probably not exist at all. Our respect and heartfelt condolences go to his family.

President Dr. Erhard Busek, on behalf of the Board of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER:

 “The GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER is suffering a great loss – our Founding President, Prof. Dr. Hans Landesmann, has left us! Together with Claudio Abbado he was the driving force before 1985 behind the creation of the GMJO as a platform for young musicians on both sides of the Iron Curtain. He succeeded and gave us a solid basis until now. He was also a member of our advisory board and maintained a connection with the GMJO all the time. His great experience in the international scene of music and the arts was a backbone in the development of our orchestra. All responsible, all actual and previous members of the GMJO will miss him – we are keeping him in our memory!”


“Overwhelming Sound” – The highly successful GMJO Summer Tour 2013 with Philippe Jordan and Jean-Yves Thibaudet

An exceptional project marked the beginning of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester Summer Tour 2013: two concert performances of Richard Wagner’sRienzi at the Salzburg Festival, under the direction of Philippe Jordan, and with a world-class cast. Not only was this the fourth collaboration of Philippe Jordan with the GMJO, it was also the third opera production in the history of the GMJO and the first time ever that Rienzi was performed at the Salzburg Festival. A challenge the GMJO met with performances highly praised by audience and press alike: “…Philippe Jordan am Pult des hingebungsvoll könnerischen Gustav Mahler Jugendorchesters…” (Manuel Brug, Die Welt, 16 August 2013) ; “… la soirée a été enthousiasmante à tous les points de vue(, 14 August 2013).
Already a tradition in Salzburg is the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award concert with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in the Felsenreitschule. The winner of the 2013 edition, British conductor Ben Gernon, was joined by violinist Arabella Steinbacher for a brilliant rendition of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, followed by Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5: “… Brillianz und Perfektion des Gustav Mahler Jugendorchesters…” (Salzburger Nachrichten, 19 August 2013).
The tour continued with five concerts featuring world-famous pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, in what was his first-ever collaboration both with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and with Philippe Jordan. Also on the programme were Wagner’sRienzi Overture and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. After the initial concert in the residency city ofBolzano/Bozen, the GMJO returned to Salzburg and then performed in three of the most prestigious halls in the world: the Royal Albert Hall in London for the BBC Proms, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and at the Semperoper in Dresdenfor the traditional opening of the concert season of our partner, the Staatskapelle Dresden.
The reviews were enthusiastic for both Philippe Jordan and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, as well as for the GMJO:  “L’autre grand triomphateur de la soirée a été Philippe Jordan, à la tête du Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. Le chef, d’une précision époustouflante, a offert une lecture vive et pleine d’élan, d’un lyrisme irrésistible… » (, 14 August 2013); “Ed è un incanto il Concerto di Ravel: pensato con Jean-Yves Thibaudet come liturgia di colori pastello e alchimie timbriche pure” (La Repubblica, 25 August 2013)“The quality of the solos (…) was exceptional, and the control of the ensemble was remarkable throughout” (The Guardian, 25 August 2013);“…there was some exemplary solo playing (…), but the most riveting moments came from the unanimity of the strings”; [Thibaudet’s] touch was miraculously light in the jazzy moments, and he trailed the decorative line over the return of that heavenly melody with beautiful delicacy” (Telegraph, 26 August 2013); “Grandios. Ovationen.” (Sächsische Zeitung, 28 August 2013).

Photo credits: Silvia Lelli (Salzburg); Gregor Khuen Belasi (Bolzano/Bozen)


Summer Tour 2013

As a special honour in the Wagner Year 2013, the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER will be taking part, at the Salzburg Festival, in two concert performances of Richard Wagner’s Rienziunder the direction of Philippe Jordan, Music Director of the Opéra National de Paris.

Two additional concerts will complete this year’s exceptional appearance in Salzburg: the fourth edition of the Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award concert, on 17 August 2013 – in which the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER will perform under the young British conductor Ben Gernon and withArabella Steinbacher, Violin – , and also a concert with the concert programme of the Summer Tour 2013.

For the fourth time since 2006, Philippe Jordan will conduct the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER, after its first tour to South America in 2007 and an extensive European tour in the Mahler Year 2011. The Summer Tour 2013 also marks the first collaboration of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER with the highly acclaimed French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who, together with Philippe Jordan, will be performing Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, in a programme that also includes Wagner’s Rienzi Ouverture and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 5 in D minor.

The first tour concert in the residency city of Bolzano / Bozen will be followed by concerts in Salzburg, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, at the BBC Proms in London, and at the Semperoper in Dresden, as every year, by invitation of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, with which the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER established a partnership in 2012.


Erste Group and Vienna Insurance Group are the main Partners of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER.


The GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER is proud to be Ambassador UNICEF Austria since 2012.


Yulia Kopylova is the new concertmaster of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester!

The concertmaster audition was held in Vienna on 3 and 4 of June. During the two rounds, in which the overall quality of the candidates was extremely high, the jury listened to eight very talented violinists from six different countries. Three of them were selected for the second round: Anna Matz, from Germany, Pekko Pulakka, from Finland, and Yulia Kopylova, from Russia, who finally was selected as the winner.
Born in Novosibirsk in 1990, Yulia Kopylova is a student of Krzysztof Wegrzyn at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover. The Summer Tour 2013 will be her second with the GMJO and her first as concertmaster. In addition to the GMJO, she has played with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Staatsoper Hannover, the Orchestre International de Genève, and the Novosibirsk Youth Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Alexander Meraviglia-Crivelli, Secretary General of the GMJO, says: “We are very happy and congratulate Yulia Kopylova, who joined the GMJO already for the Easter Tour 2013. We are looking forward to working with you as our new concertmaster and wish you much success in your new position.”
Photo on the right: the three finalists of the GMJO Concertmaster Audition.

Ben Gernon is the winner of the 2013 Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award


British-born conductor Ben Gernon (pictured together with Marc-André Dalbavie and Ingo Metzmacher on the left), who has graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 2011, is the winner of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award 2013.The jury decision was made on Sunday 12 May 2013 following the three finalists' concerts in Salzburg. Ben, who had the late Sir Colin Davis amongst his mentors, will conduct the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester on 17 August 2013 at the Salzburg Festival. Congratulations Ben, we are looking forward to working with you!

The Jury of the YCA 2013 (pictured right) was composed by (from left to right)Alexander Pereira (Artistic Director of the Salzburg Festival), Marc-André Dalbavie (composer), Gary Hanson (Executive Director of the Cleveland Orchestra), Peter Alward (Managing Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival), Angelika Svoboda (YCA project office), Matthias Schulz (Artistic and Managing Director of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation), Brian McMaster (Former Director of the Edinburgh International Festival), Ingo Metzmacher (conductor and Chairman of the jury) and Christoph Lieben-Seutter (General and Artistic Director of the Laeiszhalle Elbphilharmonie Hamburg). Also part of the jury, but not pictured, was Albena Danailova (Concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic), and Alexander Meraviglia-Crivelli (Secretary General of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester).


David Afkham appointed principal conductor of the Orquesta Nacional de España

David Afkham, the former assistant conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, with which he worked from 2009 to 2012, has just been appointed to the post of Principal Conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra.
Alexander Meraviglia-Crivelli, Secretary General of the GMJO, congratulated David Afkham immediately: "I am thrilled and very happy for David, who is both a great artist and a dear friend to me. His close association with the GMJO started in 2009 when he was appointed assistant conductor of the GMJO, and he conducted the GMJO with great success on several occasions.
For the Silver Jubilee Easter Tour 2012, David stepped in at the shortest possible notice for Ingo Metzmacher, saving a long tour with very demanding programmes and triumphing in all tour places from the Vienna Musikverein to the Lisbon Gulbenkian Foundation. Future tours with David are firmly planned, and the GMJO is very much looking forward to working with him again. Congratulations on your appointment at the Orquesta Nacional de España, dear David!"
Follow the links to read the official press release and for biographical notes of David Afkham and of theSpanish National Orchestra.

Photo credit: Felix Broede

Sir Colin Davis 1927-2013

It is with great sadness that the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester learned of the passing away of Sir Colin Davis today. President of the London Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden, Sir Colin worked with the most important orchestras, opera houses and festivals of the world. In 2008 and 2011, he conducted two tour projects of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, appearing at the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals, at the BBC Proms and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam - as well as at the Semperoper in Dresden, which marked the beginning of the partnership between the Staatskapelle Dresden and the GMJO.
Alexander Meraviglia-Crivelli, Secretary General of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester:
“On behalf of all former and actual musicians who had the privilege of rehearsing and performing with Sir Colin Davis as well as all members of our team who worked with him during our projects, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester mourns the passing away of a great artist and human being.
Sir Colin was a dedicated, demanding and inspiring conductor, a great artist, and he was a rare example of a musician who deeply loved music and the musicians he was working with. For me personally, it was wonderful to work with him on our projects, to discuss repertoire and to simply spend time with him. I shall miss him very much. Our thoughts are with his daughters and his family.”
Photo credit: Matthias Creutziger

Easter Tour 2013 with Herbert Blomstedt and Leif Ove Andsnes

For the third time since 2008, Herbert Blomstedt will appear as guest conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester during the Easter Tour 2013. The successful series of Anton Bruckner symphonies under his direction will continue with probably the most popular one: Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major, often referred to as the “Romantic”. Herbert Blomstedt will be joined by Norwegian pianistLeif Ove Andsnes, in his first appearance with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. He will be performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major. The exciting tour repertoire also includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major, an absolute masterpiece of symphonic music.
In addition to the concerts in traditional touring cities like ViennaParisLisbon and Interlaken, theGustav Mahler Jugendorchester will also break new ground: for the first time in many years the orchestra is invited to play in BarcelonaZagreb, andBratislava; and, for the first time ever, it will perform in Birmingham. For the closing of the Easter Tour 2013, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester will perform at the newly founded Easter Festival inAix-en-Provence (Artistic Directior: Renaud Capuçon, former concertmaster of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester between 1997 and 2000), where the orchestra will be appearing with two concerts.

February 2013

Concertmaster Audition


After a very tight second round, and after almost one hour of deliberation, the jury decided that there was no clear winner of the GMJO concertmaster audition. Therefore, no final decision was taken.


The overall quality was very high and each of the candidates had their specific strengths, but none of them was considered to be clearly better than the others. The jury decided that organising a new audition after the GMJO Easter Tour was the fairest solution.
The four final candidates were invited to integrate the GMJO for the Easter Tour.
More information about the new audition will be posted soon.
February 2013

Concertmaster Auditions!

The GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER is looking to appoint a new Concertmaster to join the orchestra from the Easter Tour 2013 onwards.
For more information, conditions and application procedure click here.
Photo credit: Cosimo Filippini

January 2013



This special project with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, conducted by Daniel Harding, which was due to take place in May 2020, was by far the largest and most demanding tour project of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER in recent years.

Upon invitation by the Concertgebouw Amsterdam the GMJO was to perform Mahler: Symphony No. 8 twice at the 2020 Mahler Festival, alongside the leading orchestras of the world: Concertgebouworkest, Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Budapesti Fesztiválzenekar. It was planning to give 5 more concerts at Grafenegg, at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, at the Kölner Philharmonie, and at the Philharmonie Luxembourg.

Sadly, this project does not take place now, as so many other concerts, opera performances, festivals, or cultural events of any genre, size, or budget worldwide that had to be cancelled.

The more than 130 musicians of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER had been selected and invited for these projects after the 2019 auditions - from more than 2500 applicants - , and they have been preparing and practising for these projects for a long time. We should like to publish the names of the musicians which were selected and invited for this project as members of the GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER 2020. For this reason, we are publishing - digitally and in a new design - this tour programme brochure.

In this critical situation, we have encountered great support from our public supporters, the Bundesministerium für Kunst, Kultur, öffentlichen Dienst und Sport and the Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten of the Federal Republic of Austria, the Cultural Department of the Stadt Wien, and from our long-term main sponsors, Erste Group and Vienna Insurance Group, and from our numerous institutional and private friends, donors, and cooperation partners.

The GUSTAV MAHLER JUGENDORCHESTER was founded by Claudio Abbado in a time when political borders and frontiers in Europe seemed insurmountable. Active for more than 30 years now, the GMJO became a symbol of musical excellence, of overcoming borders, and of hope. This is more actual than ever, as we are currently facing the drawing up of new frontiers and limitations, and we have to be patiently waiting, torn between hope and uncertainty, until we may become active again.

In these times, we have to ask for your active support, so that we shall be able to continue Claudio Abbado’s most important legacy and to bring it on tour again soon. Europe’s best young musicians simply deserve this.

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester elects new President

(Vienna, 19.11.20) At the general assembly in November 2020, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (GMJO) elected Sarah Wedl-Wilson MA, President of the “Hanns Eisler” Musikhochschule in Berlin and Chairman of the Board of the Salzburg Easter Festival, as new President. Prof. Christian Strenger, board member of several cultural funding institutions, financial expert and founding member of the government commission “German Corporate Governance Code” was elected as the new treasurer.

Sarah Wedl-Wilson MA

Prof. Christian Strenger

Both follow on from the long terms of office of former Vice Chancellor Dr. Erhard Busek and Dr. Thomas Angyan, who have been made honorary members of the GMJO.

At the same time a number of important personalities have accepted membership of the Association of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, including Dr. Brigitte Bierlein, former Federal Chancellor and President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Austria, univ. Prof. Dr. Clemens Jabloner, former Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Constitution, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice as well as President of the Administrative Court of the Republic of Austria, Ambassador, former Federal Minister for European and International Affairs Dr. Ursula Plassnik, management consultants and patrons of the arts Karin and Prof. Dr. h.c. Roland Berger, and many others.

Sarah Wedl-Wilson and Christian Strenger on their new appointment: “The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester is an important milestone for young artists on their way to a professional musician career, a golden cord between student performance and the professional stage.

We are respectful of our responsibility to develop the legacy of Claudio Abbado for the future, to secure the passing on of musical traditions from one generation to the next: we accept this honour with great pleasure."

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (GMJO) was founded by Claudio Abbado in Vienna in 1986 and is considered one of the world's leading institutions in the field of fostering young musicians’ talent. Together with major conductors and soloists, the GMJO is a regular guest at leading concert halls and festivals in Europe and around the world. Numerous former members can be found in all major orchestras, such as the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic or the Staatskapelle Dresden, with which there has been a close partnership since 2012. The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester has also been ambassador to UNICEF Austria since 2012.

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester would like to extend its thanks for the long-term granting of subsidies to:

Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport

Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs

The cultural department of the City of Vienna




The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester would like to thank its main sponsors for their longstanding cooperation:

Erste Group and Vienna Insurance Group





It is with extreme sadness that we have learned of the passing away of PROF. WOLFGANG BOETTCHER, aged 86, in Berlin.

Wolfgang Boettcher was closely associated with the GMJO for more than 25 years: he was working with the GMJO cello section on numerous projects, in Bolzano or Pordenone, in Lisbon or Lucerne, and in Abu Dhabi or Bad Schandau. He was cello tutor and jury member, a source of inspiration and enthusiasm, he was the soul and heart of the cello sections of the GMJO for generations of musicians. He was a devoted teacher and a humble musician, he was a shining example and a great colleague and friend.

Born in Berlin in 1935, Wolfgang Boettcher studied cello with Richard Klemm and Maurice Gendron; in 1958, he won the Second Prize at the Internationaler Musikwettbewerb der ARD, together with his sister Ursula Trede-Boettcher, a pianist. In the same year, he joined the Berliner Philharmoniker under Herbert von Karajan and became solo cellist there in 1963 - a position he held until 1976, when he decided to concentrate on his other activities: apart from his concert appearances als soloist and and chamber musician - working with the greatest musicians of his era, from Herbert von Karajan to Sergiu Celibidache, from Yehudi Menuhin to Daniel Barenboim, from Paul Hindemith to Witold Lutoslawski - , he was professor at the Universität der Künste Berlin, founding member of Die 12 Cellisten der Berliner Philharmoniker and of the Brandis-Quartett. He was chairman of the jury of the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann at the Kronberg Academy, and he was giving master classes around the world.

We were firmly planning with him for this year’s tour projects, and we were immensely looking forward to enjoying, once again, his youthful spirit, his teaching generosity, the huge treasure of his anecdotes - and his authentic Berliner humour.

Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife and to his family, and we join the musical world in mourning one of the true giants.

Thank you for all you gave to us.

Rest in peace, dear Wolfgang Boettcher.



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