Announcing Andreas Delfs as the 13th Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra!

Over the course of his 35-year career, Andreas Delfs has earned a stellar reputation as one of the most respected conductors in the orchestra world. He is widely recognized as both a successful, hands-on orchestra builder and as an imaginative and inspiring music director. His passionate and dramatic interpretations of the late romantic repertoire with orchestras in both North America and Europe have drawn critical acclaim, reflecting a constantly evolving artistic maturity marked by the insight, depth and integrity he brings to the podium.

Andreas Delfs was educated in the finest conservatories of the old and the new world and mentored by great conductors; his approach to conducting has been forged by decades of experience. At the same time, his love of new music and his commitment to discovering and exploring fresh voices have led him to establish close relationships with many of today’s composers and to conduct numerous world premiere performances. Mr. Delfs counts among his profound musical inspirations composers and musicians who span many decades, including Hans Werner Henze, György Ligeti, Philip Glass and Roberto Sierra; he has partnered with many of the world’s most renowned solo artists, including André Watts, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang and Renée Fleming.

Andreas Delfs has held chief artistic posts with several orchestras in both North America and Europe. As Music Director (1996-2009) and Conductor Laureate (2009-2015) of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Delfs was instrumental in the orchestra’s rise to national prominence. He also led the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as Music Director (2001-2004) and Artistic Consultant (2004 -2006). He served as General Music Director of Hanover, Germany (1995-2000), conducting the city’s renowned symphony orchestra and opera company. Prior to his time in Hanover, Mr. Delfs was Music Director of the Bern Opera; resident conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony during the tenure of Lorin Maazel; and Music Director, at an early age, of the Orchestre Suisse des Jeunes.

Over the years Andreas Delfs has led numerous distinguished ensembles. He has conducted orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan.

Born in Flensburg, Germany, Andreas Delfs began studying piano and music theory at age 5. He studied with Christoph von Dohnányi and Aldo Ceccato at the Hamburg Conservatory. At 20, Mr. Delfs became the youngest-ever Music Director of the Hamburg University Orchestra and Musical Assistant at the Hamburg State Opera.  He enrolled at The Juilliard School; studied with Jorge Mester, Sixten Ehrling and Leonard Bernstein; and won the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship.

Critical Acclaim

Also making his debut [with the New York City Opera] was Andreas Delfs, a conductor from Germany recently named the music director of the State Theater in Hanover. A brilliant technician and commanding musician, Mr. Delfs conducted a bracing performance. Among those applauding most eagerly during the ovations were the excited orchestra players. —THE NEW YORK TIMES

In Beethoven’s Symphony No.1 Delfs took the music-making up one notch in scale. The treacherous opening chords were exactly together, not a pizzicato out of place, and unanimity of rhythm throughout the orchestra was almost ideal. For measured brio and perfectly harnessed drive, this performance was wholly satisfying on its own cultivated terms. —FINANCIAL TIMES

…pianist John O’Connor and conductor Andreas Delfs invest these much-recorded [Beethoven] scores with deep feeling, relaxed yet never draggy tempi, and freshly considered details…The London Symphony Orchestra provide vibrant and unfailingly alive support under Delfs’ caring leadership… —GRAMOPHONE (Telarc Beethoven CD Review)

[Delfs] is new to the [L.A.] Philharmonic and impressive. It is often said that stick technique is not everything in a conductor… But technique certainly helps, and the first impression Delfs makes is of a conductor in thrilling command of the essentials…energetically urging–and spectacularly getting–flexible, exciting playing. —THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

Andreas Delfs conducted the vast orchestra through this vast tone poem [Richard Strauss’ “Ein Heldenleben”]…His impeccable sense of sonic and dramatic momentum sustained overall forward motion even as the music lingered in its pensive moments… The entire group responded to Delfs’ ideas about the sweep of phrases, the building and cresting of the climactic waves of sound, and the patient savoring of the quiet moments. —MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL

An exciting, dynamic conductor who uses the podium more as a springboard than platform, Andreas Delfs led the Seattle Symphony Thursday night with an intense attention to the moods of the music…and orchestra and chorale responded to Delfs by performing with all the emotion he requested. —SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER

Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 (“Prague”) was a delight in Delfs’ hands. He is a demonstrative and inspiring conductor, always in motion and tending to every detail (at one point, I got a fleeting impression of the famous caricatures of Hector Berlioz on the podium). Working without a score, he got spirited playing from the CSO, finely nuanced in the Andante, full of verve in the outer movements. —THE CINCINNATI POST

Maestro Delfs is an established star among conductors, known as an innovator and champion of contemporary music. His command of the evening’s selections indicates he also is an unparalleled interpreter of more traditional concert repertoire. —HONOLULU ADVERTISER

Yesterday, Delfs…turned in one of the most potent efforts I’ve heard in this or any other season with the [Louisville] orchestra. It was, without exaggeration, the kind of electrifying connection between conductor and players that confirms why we attend concerts in the first place: to be thrilled and amazed. There seemed to be a moment-to-moment sense of musical creation, of crackling discipline among members of every instrumental section. —LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL (2008)

The musical element [of Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos] presided over by Andreas Delfs, is one of the company’s most impressive recent accomplishments. This is a very difficult, intricate score, demanding vocalists of the highest caliber and an orchestra of 37, in which each player must be a virtuoso soloist. The guest conductor took over with consummate expertise, extracting precision and a large palette of instrumental color from the forces at hand. —PALM BEACH DAILY NEWS