Artistic Director

Johannes Klumpp
Artistic Director from 2015 to 2022

"In this day and age, we have to lead people the way to what we love so much. Guide them over the threshold."

Johannes Klumpp took up his new position as Artistic Director of the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of the 2020/2021 season. Although artistic planning is plagued by many uncertainties in times of the pandemic, one major task already stands: the complete recording of all Haydn symphonies.

Johannes Klumpp has already been working as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Folkwang Chamber Orchestra Essen since the 2013/2014 season. The focus of his work here is on the symphonic works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Not only thanks to the celebrated recordings of his symphonies and concertos, Johannes Klumpp has been able to increase the perception and profile of the ensemble enormously.

In addition, he creates innovative programme formats within the framework of the ExtraKlang series – held at the Zeche Zollverein World Heritage Site – and has cooperated with well-known personalities such as the actress Martina Gedeck, the composer and pianist Hauschka and the now-deceased publicist Roger Willemsen.

A busy concert schedule also takes him to renowned orchestras, including the mdr Sinfonieorchester, the Staatsorchester Stuttgart, the Weimarer Staatskapelle, the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, the Dresdner Philharmonie, the Dresdner Festspielorchester, the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra or the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra.

To encourage dialogue with the audience, Johannes Klumpp regularly uses the format of the narrated concert. He is convinced: "In this day and age, we have to lead people the way to what we love so much. Guide them over the threshold." This also happens most impressively in Saxony-Anhalt, where he has been shaping the SummerMusicAcademy Hundisburg Castle as Artistic Director since 2013.

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Rolf-Dieter Arens

Born in 1945 in Zinnwald, Rolf-Dieter Arens began playing the piano at the age of five. From 1963 to 1968 he studied piano with Professor Volger and Chamber Music with Professor Schuster at the Academy of Music in Leipzig. He also attended master classes with Paul Badura-Skoda in Vienna.

After teaching at the Music academies of Leipzig and Weimar from 1970 to 1986, he was appointed professor of piano at the Liszt School of Music Weimar in 1986.

From 1986 until 1991, he was a regular soloist with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and toured Europe with them. He has performed all over the world both as a soloist, as well as with chamber music ensembles. Arens has worked with renowned conductors such as Kurt Masur, Herbert Blomstedt, Marek Janowski, and Sir Neville Marriner.

In addition to holding master classes in Japan and South Korea, he is a regular jury member at international music competitions in Bolzano, Budapest, Dublin, Santander, Utrecht, Weimar, and Wien. His work is documented in numerous radio broadcasts and recordings for television and CD productions.

From 1993 to 1999, and again from 2007 to 2015, he was appointed the Artistic Director of the SummerMusicAcademy at Hundisburg Castle. In 1995, he founded the Chamber Music Ensemble “Weimarer Solisten”. Since 2000, he has been the Artistic Director of the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition of Weimar-Bayreuth. Since 2006, he has been contributing to the New Liszt Foundation Weimar as a founding member. From 2001 to 2010 Rolf-Dieter Arens was the director of the Liszt School of Music in Weimar. For his achievements in his work regarding the musician and visionary Franz Liszt, he was awarded the “Premio Liszt” in Grottamare (Italy) in 2011. As president of the “Culture Foundation Leipzig”, one of his latest projects is the creation of a permanent Wagner exhibition in the Nikolai Church in the birth town of the composer, which opened in spring 2013.

In 2014, Arens was awarded the order of merit of Thuringia. From 2014 to 2015 he was a guest lecturer for piano at the Mahidol University in Bangkok (Thailand).