New chief conductor for OSM Camerata

New chief conductor for OSM Camerata

09.07.2013 Maestro Jan Moritz Onken, has been appointed as chief conductor of the Odeion Shcool of Music Camerata (OSMC)for the second season of 2013 and will prepare the OSMC for their participation at the 13th International Conservatory Festival in St Petersburg in November this year. The next performance of the OSMC under the baton of Onken will take place during the second gala concert of the 2013 OSM NEW MUSIC WEEK on the 20th of July 19h30 at the Odeion.

In 2012 the OSM found it strategically fit to establish a flagship chamber ensemble – the OSM Camerata (OSMC) – with the main objective to kindle and forge the talents of exceptionally gifted musicians and literally chasing after the highest artistic standards possible. Apart from competencies related to advanced musicianship, ensemble, mentorship, concert etiquette serious thought is given to the demands and roles of the professional orchestral player in example concertmaster, assistant concertmaster and principle player as well as professional procedures with regard to rehearsal procedures. Another objective is to introduce students and audiences alike to exceptional repertoire hailing from diverse style periods not often heard on South African stages.

Born in 1977 in Wuppertal (Germany), Jan Moritz Onken spent his formative years as a student in orchestral conducting at the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory under the tutelage of Prof Nikolai Alexeev. Onken received high praise from notable masters such as Pierre Boulez and Valery Gergiev for his “exceptional talent” during internships at the Bayreuther Festspiele, the Mariinsky Theater and the Belcanto Festival in Dordrecht (Netherlands).

In 2003 he worked as assistant to acclaimed maestro Mariss Jansons, whilst gaining international experience by conducting orchestras worldwide. A DAAD-grant has enabled him to lead the student symphony orchestras of the National Conservatoire of Almaty (Kazakhstan), St. Petersburg (Russia) and Tiblisi (Georgia). His success with above mentioned ensembles gained him recognition in the New York Times, Verliner Tageszeitung, Spiegel, ZDF-Heute Journal, 3sat Kulturzeit, and Deutsche Welle. Onken has also received an award at the 10th International Conducting Competition in Budapest (Hungary) in 2010.

Since 2010 Jan is residing in St. Petersburg where he is working as a musical coach and assistant for German repertoire at the Mariinsky Theater (Valery Gergiev). In 2011 he was invited as a guest conductor at the Verbier Festival. Onken served as a jury adjudicator for the final round of the second National Len van Zyl Orchestral Conducting Competition which took place in Cape Town in February 2013. Onken made his debut in May 2013 with the St Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra to great acclaim.

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