Gabriel Feltz, Music Director of the renowned Dortmund Opera and the principal conductor of Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra, has been a guest of Belgrade for quite some time now and, starting from September, he will take on the role of the principal conductor of Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he performed in front of 20,000 Belgradians this summer at the historical “Picnic with the Philharmonic Orchestra”.
The phenomenal open-air concert you and the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra performed was a bombshell of a concert season ending, but also a good teaser for the upcoming season, in which you will take up the role of the principal conductor of Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. What was your feeling before and what is it now, after this picnic with the citizens of Belgrade?
The concert we held for the citizens of Belgrade was phenomenal and unforgettable for me. I have enjoyed a very good working relationship with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra since the start. I have worked with many orchestras from all over the world. Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra is characterized by a strong team spirit and intense enthusiasm, which is immediately felt. All members of the orchestra breathe and play as one.
Once again, like who knows how many times before, the citizens of Belgrade have proven themselves as an amazing audience. In peace and quiet, almost like in a concert hall, 20,000 souls sat down on their blankets and enjoyed the program. And the applause! Words cannot describe just what that applause sounded like to us on the stage.
From September, therefore from the next season, I take on the position of the principal conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and I think we have many successful performances ahead of us. Just before the concert, not to say picnic, I focused on the details in rehearsals with members of the orchestra. As a reminder, just before the concert we rehearsed all 17 master pieces of music art that the Belgrade audience selected as the program for the evening. When it was all done, I was filled with great happiness.
photo: Marko Đoković
You were a guest of Belgrade on many occasion before, as well. What was the first thing you had to see in Belgrade? And what is it that left the biggest impression on you, once you got to know the Serbian capital a bit better?
I have to say I love Belgrade a lot. And I love Belgradians! I have met and encountered many pleasant people here. I think Belgrade is a great European city and that it will always be one. To those coming for the first time, I always recommend that they go and hear a concert of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra “as soon as the wheels touch down”. How could I not?! Also, there is St. Sava’s Temple, Kalemegdan, the Nikola Tesla Museum and the Ethnographic Museum which will certainly leave any guest of Belgrade breathless.
During my visits to Belgrade, lately I have spent most of my time working so I have not gotten around to seeing all I plan to see. The Aircraft Museum is next on my “to visit” list. Airplanes and cars are a hobby of mine.
If you had to describe the spirit of Serbia through a music score, what kind of music would it be?
The spirit of Serbia is playful and energetic… Let it be “The Legend of Ohrid” by Hristić.
Have you had a chance to experience the charms of Belgrade’s night life so far? What impression did the tempestuous temperament of Belgrade leave you with?
Of course I have. Is there a city in Europe offering a better time than Belgrade? Hardly.
The new season in the Philharmonic Orchestra is in preparation, are there any hints as to what the fans of art music can expect?
Our program for the next season will be excellent. Its slogan is “Five Elements”, meaning Earth, Water, Air, Fire and the mysterious “Fifth Element”. We will play the appropriate music for each element. I am really looking forward to this autumn and the new concert season in Belgrade. It will be great.
autor: Miljana Nešković