Chief Conductor Jakub Hrůša has signed a contract extension with the Bamberg Symphony, which will now be in effect until 2029
At the Bavarian State Ministry, Markus Blume, Bavarian Minister of State for Science and the Arts, together with Artistic Director Marcus Rudolf Axt, announced today that the Bamberg Symphony’s Chief Conductor Jakub Hrůša has extended his contract with the orchestra until the end of the 2028/2029 season. The contract extension reflects the wish on both sides to continue a flourishing artistic partnership. Hrůša, who has been at the helm of the orchestra since September 2016, has won international acclaim with the orchestra in recent years. The Bamberg Symphony, which is regarded as a world-class orchestra both at home and abroad, has a widely respected and artistically outstanding Chief Conductor in Hrůša, whose personal commitment to his orchestra promises further excellence to come, in both live concerts and recorded productions.
Markus Blume – “It must be a kind of love: the connection between Jakub Hrůša and the Bamberg Symphony is something very special. Jakub Hrůša gives the Bamberg Symphony sound and soul. The fruits of this inspiring partnership can be seen in countless outstanding and moving musical moments that delight audiences in Bavaria and far beyond! I am delighted that this connection is now being continued,” says Blume. The Minister of State for Science and the Arts also thanked artistic director Marcus Rudolf Axt, who, together with Jakub Hrůša, leads the orchestra with a keen sense and genuine passion.
Jakub Hrůša – “The beautiful collective of the Bamberg Symphony, the musicians, the management, the whole institution with its public, has become a warm and harmonious home for me. Our work together has been a really thrilling adventure in seeking for, and finding, new trajectories of programming, novel recording projects, representing our culture abroad, and community-building. We have so many amazing plans together that several lifetimes would not be enough for fulfilling them. For this and many other reasons I feel happy that we will continue to be such a beautiful team and that I am extending my tenure in Bamberg for three more years. I cannot wait to deepen my profound relationship with my orchestra.”
Marcus Rudolf Axt– “After having worked congenially with our Chief Conductor Jakub Hrůša for more than seven years, it feels almost natural to continue this marvellous success story. And yet it is a great privilege that this close and profound artistic connection has developed between him and our orchestra, leading both partners, the Chief Conductor and his orchestra, to ever new achievements and accolades. Many international prizes for collaborative CD projects testify to this, as do the sold-out concerts in Bamberg and the many invitations extended to our “world orchestra” to perform in the leading concert halls and festivals around the world. To have the opportunity to continue developing this extraordinary artistic relationship over the next six years is a gift! We are delighted to have Jakub Hrůša, a great artist, a creative mind and such a warm-hearted person, at the centre of our orchestra as Chief Conductor. “
Czech-born Jakub Hrůša is the fifth Chief Conductor in the history of the Bamberg Symphony. He is also Music Director Designate of the Royal Opera in London (Music Director from 2025), Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He also serves as president of the jury for The Mahler Competition, now the most important conducting competition of its kind.
In recent years, his work as Chief Conductor has been recognised many times. As recently as last month, he was awarded the Bavarian Culture Prize for his services to the Bamberg Symphony. Jakub Hrůša has also impressed audiences and the specialist press with his outstanding audio productions since the beginning of his collaboration with the orchestra. Just recently, he was named Conductor of the Year at the OPUS KLASSIK Awards 2023 for the recording of Hans Rott’s Symphony No. 1 (Deutsche Gramophone, 2022). The recording is “full of energy and depth and sheds a vital new light on an important work by a groundbreaking composer who is experiencing a worthy rediscovery”, said the jury. He and the Bamberg Symphony also received the ICMA Prize for Symphonic Music in both 2022 and 2023 for the Hans Rott recording and for Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, and were also honoured with the 2021 German Record Critics’ Award for their recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. In 2020, Jakub Hrůša was awarded the Antonín Dvořák Prize of the Czech Academy of Classical Music and, together with the Bamberg Symphony, the Bavarian State Prize for Music.
When asked what Jakub Hrůša likes most about his Bamberg colleagues, he replies: “That they never play routinely! Even when they play the same concert program several times in a row, it never sounds the same. That is the natural quality of the orchestra. I am always impressed at the flexibility we have created in our collaboration. It now takes very few words or discussions to achieve a result that satisfies everyone – conductor and musicians alike.”
Since its foundation in 1946, the Bamberg Symphony has earned an international reputation as a touring orchestra through its travelling activities, which is reflected in its motto “Resonating worldwide”. Under the direction of Jakub Hrůša, the orchestra has been invited to numerous festivals in Germany and has also toured worldwide including to China, Japan, Spain, Poland and Scandinavia. Together Hrůša and the orchestra have been honoured guests at the Lucerne Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms, the Prague Spring Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival and the Beethovenfest Bonn, and they have given concerts at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Isarphilharmonie in Munich, the Philharmonie de Paris and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, among others. In the current season, they are making guest appearances in France, Iceland and the USA (including at New York’s Carnegie Hall).