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Karl-Heinz Steffens new Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor at SON

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"I am really looking forward to a future side by side with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra"

3 October 2019

The Norrköping Symphony Orchestra has appointed Karl-Heinz Steffens as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor from the season 2020/21. The orchestra’s Artistic Director Henrik Marmen describes the relationship between Steffens and the orchestra as ”a match made in heaven”.

The search has been ongoing since 2016. The Norrköping Symphony Orchestra has a proud history of providing many young and gifted conductors their first permanent position, among them Herbert Blomstedt and Franz Welser-Möst. This time however, the strategy was different.

- I think it has been important to let the process take its time, says Henrik Marmen. During the past three years, we have had the good fortune to work with a number of distinguished guest conductors who have contributed to maintaining the orchestra’s high level. After playing a complete Brahms symphony cycle with Karl-Heinz Steffens earlier this year, we immediately knew that we had found the right person for the job. We have been looking for an experienced conductor who can continue developing the orchestra’s sound, who has a deep knowledge of the classical and modern core repertoire but is also curious about contemporary music. It has also been important to find someone who ”clicks” with the orchestra, creates magic in concert and can win the hearts of the audience. Karl-Heinz Steffens ticks all these boxes.

The enthusiasm is mutual:

- I am really looking forward to a future side by side with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, says Karl-Heinz Steffens. Last season we played all four Brahms symphonies, experienced instantly a mutual artistic understanding and simply had a lot of fun, working together. Musicmaking is a lifelong search for truth in great works of art. I am glad to continue my personal quest hand in hand with such a great orchestra.

German conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens is recognised as a conductor of great distinction in both the symphonic and operatic worlds. As well as his guest engagements with ensembles such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic and the Toronto Symphony, Steffens takes particular pleasure in undertaking substantial surveys of repertoire, for example a Brahms cycle with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. Elsewhere in the opera house, he has just taken up his new position as Music Director of the Prague State Opera.

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