“The Berliner Philharmoniker have lost one of their most important instrumentalists – the music world has gained an enterprising maestro,” wrote the Tagesspiegel, when Karl-Heinz Steffens gave up his position as principal clarinetist of the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2007. In the same season he took up his new post as music director of the Staatskapelle Halle and as artistic director of the Halle opera house.
A year later he made his debut with the opera Fidelio at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, and since the 2009/2010 season, Karl-Heinz Steffens has also held the position of chief conductor of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. He has been invited to conduct many renowned orchestras, and in this concert, he makes his debut with his old orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker.
In addition to Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and the overture from Franz Schubert’s incidental music for the romantic drama Rosamunde, Princess of Cyprus by Helmina of Chézy, the programme also included Schubert’s Third Symphony – “a work of youth [...] and gleefully raucous vigour that stirs and moves without concerning itself with objective or success” (Eduard Hanslick). With Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Symphony in one movement and his Canto di Speranza for cello and orchestra, Karl-Heinz Steffens also conducted two highly expressive works of the 20th century with Ludwig Quandt, 1st principal cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker, as the soloist.