Larsen Strings, maker of high-end strings for musical instruments, has entered into a three-year sponsorship agreement with the Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra, opening the way for engaging Johannes Wildner as Principal Conductor. Mr Wildner will join the orchestra for three years beginning with the 2019–20 season.
The importance of an orchestra’s Principal Conductor is hard to overstate; his long-term musical vision and continuing work with the orchestra are essential for its growth and development. Sponsoring this position, Larsen Strings once more demonstrates its unwavering commitment to the Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra and to Sønderborg, home to both of them.
Johannes Wildner has often stood on the rostrum of the Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra, or South Denmark Philharmonic as it styles itself in English, in a collaboration that looks back on more than thirty years of successes; his personality, musical expressiveness, professionalism and devotion to the arts have made something truly special of every episode of their work. When a closer relationship became feasible, it was natural to contact Mr Wildner, because, says Nikolaj Andersen, General Manager of the orchestra, “he has always made a very positive impression, every time he has conducted the Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra. And he is a conductor who is always invited back.”
In June 2019, leading up to his officially taking up the baton in Sønderborg, Mo. Wildner will conduct the Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra and the Schleswig-Holstein Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s 6th Symphony in joint performances in the orchestra’s cities of residence, Sønderborg and Flensburg.
Johannes Wildner, Austrian, studied violin, musicology and conducting with Karl Österreicher, Otmar Suitner and Vladimir Delman in Vienna and Parma. The years he spent as part of both the Vienna Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera have given his conducting a distinctive stamp.
After working as Principal Conductor with the Košice State Philharmonic, followed by the National Opera Prague, Johannes Wildner was engaged as First Permanent Conductor by the Leipzig Opera before spending ten years as Music Director of the New Philharmonic Westphalia; at the same time, the BBC Concert Orchestra welcomed him to London as their First Guest Conductor. In 2014, he accepted the position of managing director of the Oper Burg Gars festival in Austria, and in the same year he was appointed to a professorship in Conducting at the mdw, Vienna’s University for Music and Performing Arts.
Laurits Th. Larsen, a former violinist of Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra himself, founded Larsen Strings in 1990, originally producing just one cello string. Today, Larsen Strings is among the world’s foremost makers of strings for violins, violas and celli. On Mr Wildner’s appointment as Principal Conductor, Mr Larsen commented: “The orchestra is, despite being years ago, my old and highly valued workplace. Several former colleagues are among my friends, and it is therefore always a great pleasure to attend concerts and hear how the orchestra has evolved over the years. Having enjoyed playing under Johannes Wildner’s baton myself, I confidently expect that his appointment to the position of Principal Conductor will add to the continuing upswing of this orchestra that is so very important to our region.”