Almost traditionally, Music Director Alain Altinoglu will open the coming season with the Europa Open Air on the river Main. One program focus of the new season is nature and its musical representation. In addition, the unconventional Fazıl Say will be featured as a pianist and composer. “Artist in Residence” will be an instrument: the trumpet.

Contract extension until 2028 and projects of Music Director Alain Altinoglu.
“I am filled with happiness and gratitude for the opportunity to continue my musical journey with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and I am very much looking forward to playing with these great musicians for our audiences in Frankfurt and all over the world,” says Alain Altinoglu. In the meantime, he feels “already at home” in Frankfurt. This is reflected in the extension of his contract by another four years: Altinoglu will remain Music Director of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony until and including the 2027/28 season. Orchestra manager Michael Traub is also very happy about this: “We are pleased about the mutual trust and that we can plan for the long term with Alain and implement our joint ideas.”

Altinoglu will open the program focus “Nature & Earth” with the first concert in September at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, featuring violinist Julia Fischer and Claude Debussy’s “La Mer.” The music director will conduct six “hr-Sinfoniekonzerte”, enriched by pianists Jan Lisiecki, Alexander Malofeev and Fazıl Say, among others. Together with Say, Altinoglu will even form a piano duo. ” I met Fazil for the first time maybe 20 years ago in the south of France at the festival of Radio France in Montpellier. We were still young, and we played in a gala concert together. Since when we never worked together actually, we know each other very well. I appreciate a lot of him as a great artist – not only for his piano playing but also for his compositions. The great artist is on stage you know. He is bringing a lot of himself, and it is always a great adventure for the public to listen to him. I think that is what makes a great artist. And I am happy that he is linked with our orchestra next season.” Socially and politically, Altinoglu believes it is “a great sign to show that a French with Armenian roots from a family who came from Turkey and a Turkish can make music together. It is very important for me to show that classic music is for everybody, and everybody can play together. And this is one of the strongest things of music.”

The Frenchman also continues his Shostakovich cycle with the 4th Symphony, exploring the limits of what is possible in terms of sonic power. He is particularly looking forward to the “St. John Passion” by Johann Sebastian Bach: “It is always very difficult to choose one concert in the season. So, each time I conduct the orchestra or a piece I do it like it was the most important. So, if I have to choose the project I most look forward to in next season maybe I would say the “St. John Passion”. It will be the 300 years of this amazing and so important piece of Johann Sebastian Bach. For us classical musicians, Bach is really the base. I mean every music or most of them come from there. I am very touched by his music. And it will be the first time I will conduct it. So I really look forward to this concert.”

Program focus “Nature & Earth”
Works such as the “Alpensinfonie” by Richard Strauss, Antonín Dvořák’s “In The Nature” or the soundtrack by the award-winning Hollywood composer and Frankfurt native Hans Zimmer for the BBC documentary “Planet Earth” characterize the programmatic focus “Nature & Earth” for the upcoming season. The Frankfurt Radio Symphony approaches the theme with works that capture the beauty, but also the fragility of the planet in sound. Today that issue touches people perhaps more than many generations before, as it moves closer to them and increasingly besets them. In addition, Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s “Metacosmos” and Gustav Mahler’s “Lied von der Erde” extend the focus into the metaphysical. This will be felt quite differently in the “Spotlight” concert, when ARD weather expert Sven Plöger and hr presenter Jennifer Sieglar will get the audience excited about the wonders of weather and climate cycles and thus sensitize them to an unusual percussion concert with young percussionist Vivi Vassileva, who will perform Gregor A. Mayrhofer’s “Recycling Concerto”.

Outlook for the 2023/24 season of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony
After the pandemic years, the past season got off to a brilliant start with the big Europa Open Air, and audiences also returned in large numbers for the other concerts. “Our goal was to get people back into the concert halls and share our passion for music. To a large extent, we succeeded,” sums up orchestra manager Michael Traub. “In December, we even had ticket sales at pre-Corona levels again. The new formats and subscriptions we have launched are catching on. We’re very grateful for that.” So, in the 2023/24 season, viewers will again be able to see for themselves the quality of the hr musicians in “Quick & Classy”: this time with solo flutist Clara Andrada de la Calle, solo clarinetist Jochen Tschabrun and with solo trumpeter Sebastian Berner, winner of last year’s Maurice André Competition, currently the world’s most prestigious award for trumpet. The Wandelkonzerte are also back: in Frankfurt’s Städelmuseum and in Bad Homburg’s Gustavsgarten, the audience is free to move around during the performances and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Orchestra Academy.

Invited guest conductors include Manfred Honeck, Susanna Mälkki, Anja Bihlmaier, John Storgards, Nicholas Collon, Krysztof Urbański and Dalia Stasevska. There will also be a reunion with Andrès Orozco-Estrada, who will present a real “extra” with Hilary Hahn. As internationally renowned soloists, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony welcomes, among others, Avi Avital, Wu Wei, Anastasia Kobekina, Martin Helmchen, Mao Fujita, as well as the “rising star” on percussion and Grubinger student Vivi Vassileva.

Specials: A Holy Mountain, Chamber Flicker and a Double “KiezPalast”
Held for the first time last year, the cooperation with the Alte Oper Frankfurt “KiezPalast” with the multi-talented Ulrich Tukur was sold out right off the bat, so there will be a double edition in 2024. “Tempo! Tempo!” is the name of the game when the actor, singer, presenter and accordion player devotes himself to speed together with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and finds all kinds of turbulence in classical music, film music, jazz and chansons of the 1920s. Also in the 1920s, Arnold Fanck created the silent film classic “Der heilige Berg.” The orchestra, conducted by Frank Strobel, brings it to the stage and screen with the reconstructed, original incidental music.

Until 2019, there were regular chamber music evenings in a wide variety of locations in downtown Frankfurt. This small, unconventional concert series “Kammerflimmern” will now resume in the Latin Palace Changó or high above the city in the Silver Tower of the Deutsche Bahn.

“Artist in residence”: the trumpet
Not a musician, but the trumpet itself is “artist in residence” this season. “Finally!” some are probably thinking. In any case, Sebastian Berner is a musician in a class of his own. And so, he will present his soloistic potential several times during the “Trumpet Season”: in the virtuoso concerto by Henri Tomasi or the Trumpet Concerto by Johann Wilhelm Hertel. Fazıl Say also appreciates the trumpet, of which he says it forms a “kingdom of its own in the orchestra.” With this in mind he wrote his Double Concerto for the star soloists Gábor Boldoczki and Sergei Nakariakov, which will receive its German premiere with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony. Furthermore, the piccolo trumpet will also be heard in the 2nd Brandenburg Concerto by Johann Sebastian Bach, played by Laura Vukobatović.

Europa Open Air of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and the European Central Bank
For the fifth time, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and the European Central Bank, supported by Elisabethen Quelle, invite visitors to a concert on the banks of the Main River in Frankfurt at the end of August. Perhaps some of the first-time visitors still remember Ravel’s “Boléro” at the first open-air concert of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony in 2015, when first a party boat and later a barking dog “enriched” the suspenseful piece. Hopefully this time the audience will be able to enjoy the extremely popular piece without distractions, together with Paul Dukas’ “Zauberlehrling” and Rodrigo’s romantic Concerto Aruanjuez with star guitarist Milos.

cresc… Biennale for Contemporary Music 2024 
In its original biennial rhythm, “cresc… 2024” presents contemporary music in February in Frankfurt and Darmstadt, among other places. The festival theme “String Figures” highlights the importance of networks. The Frankfurt Radio Symphony offers Morton Feldman’s “Coptic Light” and, together with the Ensemble Modern, one of the monumental key pieces of the 20th century: “Les Espaces Acoustiques” by Gérard Grisey.  

Music education for children and young people
Six “Young Concerts” at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, one “Young Concert-Junior” and two Family Concerts comprise the music education program in the 2023/24 season. And the “Spotlight” conversational concert, the Music Discovery Project and “Christmas all over the world” are also ideally suited for families with children and teenagers. Without parents, teenagers can go to any “hr-Sinfoniekonzert” at the Alte Oper at low cost: The “10 For Teens” initiative offers a limited ticket contingent for all young people under 20 in each case – while supplies last. An exclusive school tour through Hesse is also planned again with the orchestra.

Guest concerts and tours
Beyond the concert activities in Hesse, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony will perform at the famous Ravello Festival and have guest performances in Dortmund and Hamburg. A tour in France includes the cities of Aix-en-Provence, Grenoble, Paris, and Toulouse.

97 concerts, 90 of them in Hesse
The Frankfurt Radio Symphony will give a total of 97 concerts in the 2023/24 season, 90 of which will be in Hesse: In addition to its own concert series in Frankfurt and concerts at the Rheingau Music Festival, it will be a guest at the Weilburger Schlosskonzerte, the Schlosstheater Fulda, the Stadttheater Gießen, the Kronberg Festival and the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt. Special projects and six chamber concerts in Hesse round off the orchestra’s extensive concert activities.

The Frankfurt Radio Symphony on all media playout channels
In the next season, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony is again planning video livestreams to serve its own channels on the website, in the ARD Mediathek or on Arte Concert. The orchestra’s YouTube channel, which now has more than 390,000 subscribers, is one of the world’s most successful channels for classical music on this platform. Most programmes are broadcast live by the radio programme hr2-kultur and are also broadcast internationally via the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Selected concert events are broadcast by hr-fernsehen, 3sat and Arte.

Subscriptions and advance ticket sales
Audiences can continue to experience the highest artistic quality at affordable prices. Advance sales for subscriptions begin immediately by calling + 49 69 155-4111, and for individual tickets on June 1 by calling +49 69 155-2000. Subscriptions and tickets can be purchased at

The 2023/24 concert magazine is available at all events of Hessischer Rundfunk, can be ordered from the hr-ticket center, phone: + 49 69 155-2000, or can be downloaded as a PDF at An interactive e-mag with audio samples and numerous additional links, as well as further details on the concerts, will be available on the website from June 1st.