German National Youth Orchestra and Foreign Minister Steinmeier in Riga


While in the Latvian capital, the German National Youth Orchestra met with the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany. During his two-day visit to the Baltic countries, Frank-Walter Steinmeier greeted five members of Germany’s youngest elite orchestra in Riga. The orchestra was on a tour of the Baltic countries as a cultural ambassador for Germany. The meeting took place at Latvia’s memorial to the Baltic countries’ “Singing Revolution” and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Also present were Germany’s Ambassador to Latvia, Andrea Wiktorin, and Sönke Lentz, the youth orchestra’s Project Director. Trumpet player Sandro Hirsch, 17, performed Otto Ketting’s Intrada for the occasion.


The German National Youth Orchestra was conducted by Karl-Heinz Steffens on their Baltic tour, which took them to Vilnius in Lithuania, Cesis and Riga in Latvia, and Tallinn in Estonia. The tour, called “Freedom, Independence, and Self-Determination”, commemorated the 25th anniversary of the “Singing Revolution” that led to the independence of the three Baltic nations between March and May of 1990. Since 1990 also marked the 25th anniversary of Germany’s reunification, the tour sought to emphasize a common sense of history, solidarity, and dedication to Europe ideals. The tour was supported by the Goethe Institute with funding from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


The orchestra’s programs on the tour included Peter Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, the “Dance of the Seven Veils” from Richard Strauss’s opera Salome, Franz Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony No. 8, and Béla Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2, performed by the young virtuoso Tobias Feldmann.


The German National Youth Orchestra brings together the finest young musicians from all parts of Germany, who display their abilities in concert tours in Germany and abroad under the direction of distinguished conductors such as Kurt Masur, Lothar Zagrosek, and Sebastian Weigle. The German National Youth Orchestra is a project of the German Music Council and is generously supported by the German Ministry for Families, Women, Youth, and the Elderly.

Das Bundesjugendorchester vereint die besten jungen Nachwuchsmusiker aus ganz Deutschland, die unter der Leitung von berühmten Dirigenten wie Kurt Masur, Lothar Zagrosek oder Sebastian Weigle ihr Können auf nationalen und internationalen Konzerttourneen beweisen. Das Bundesjugendorchester ist ein Projekt der Deutscher Musikrat Projekt gGmbH und wird maßgeblich vom Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend gefördert.

Berlin Philharmoniker Bundesministerium Wdr3 Daimler DOV GVL Freude.