Christoph Eschenbach has had a tumultuous first season at the helm of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. His contract commenced in August 2019, a mere few months before the onset of the pandemic and the cancellation of most in-person concert events worldwide.
In response, Eschenbach pivoted, working instead on several livestreams and CD recordings of Brahms and Carl Maria von Weber.
In order to make up for lost time, the Konzerthaus has added another season to Eschenbach's contract.
“After the last few seasons, when we weren't able to welcome our beloved audience regularly in the concert hall, it seemed all the more important to me to accept the orchestra's suggestion to extend our musical relationship in order to continue the work we had started," Eschenbach said. "I am very much looking forward to the future with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and our joint projects. "
Dr Klaus Lederer, Germany's Senator for Culture and Europe, praised Eschenbach's efforts during the pandemic. Lederer found the orchestra's digital performances as part of #konzertZUhaus particularly noteworthy.
"But listening to an orchestra digitally is not the same as listening to music with other people," he said. "I am therefore very pleased that Christoph Eschenbach has extended his contract by one year and that hopefully he will be able to conduct many of his planned programs live again."
“In this time of crisis, Christoph Eschenbach's commitment is an important signal," said Sebastian Nordmann, the orchestra's Artistic Director. "We asked him to extend his contract by one year in order to be able to catch up on the many programs that had to be canceled due to the pandemic. We are very grateful for his vigor and passion for the orchestra."