Jens Troester returned to Norway, and again it was a special project, and a special location: The Verdenstreatret, built in Tromsø in 1915, is one of the oldest cinemas in Europe which is still being used as a movie theater today. It hosts regular screenings as well as the annual International Tromsø Film Festival. Inside the art nouveau building are lovely murals of Norwegian folk tales - the perfect setting for „Peter and the Wolf“.
The Oscar-winning film (Best Animated Short, 2008) tells the story of couragious Peter, and features the wonderful music by Sergej Prokofiev. The Arctic Philharmonic invited Jens Troester to conduct the score live to the film in a series of concerts which delighted audiences: „You simply cannot beat the charm of Prokofiev’s music, and the film by director Suzie Templeton is clever, and heart-warming, with a surprising contemporary edge“, said Troester after the concerts. „The Arctic Philharmonic is one of my favourite orchestras.“
A week later, the program was repeated in Bodø, this time in the new Stormen Concert Hall. And in between concerts, Jens Troester had the chance to do some sight-seeing as well…
In 2019 Jens Troester will become Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt. Manager Dirk Eisermann comments his decision:
"Jens Troester has already brought his immense musicianship to our orchestra in the past, as well as his artistic inspiration and competent leadership. He was responsible for some of the orchestra's greatest moments. His skill at preparing the musicians for a wide range of projects, whether they are classical, cross-over, or accompanying a star like Gregory Porter, is exceptional. Together with a passionate and committed new Artistic Director and Chief Conductor and our group of adventurous musicians, I am looking forward to ushering in an exciting future for the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt."
Lots of laughter and a huge round of applause: The audience enjoyed the experience as much as the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra enjoyed playing Jens Troester's new music for two Laurel & Hardy comedies at the Laeiszhalle.
The magnificent hall (built in 1906) conjured up memories of the golden age of silent film. Conductor was Timothy Brock, who, with the edition of the music for the films of Charlie Chaplin, has become one of the foremost experts in the field.
Troester after the concert: "It's just fun to have a great orchestra play one's music, not to have to conduct oneself, and to experience the audience's reaction while sitting among them. Composing the music was a breeze, I guess because the charm and humor of Stan and Ollie is as fresh and funny today as it was back then, almost 100 years ago!"
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus on the Acropolis has been standing in the heart of Athens for more than 1.800 years. In recent times, it has hosted performances by stars like Maria Callas, Herbert von Karajan, Frank Sinatra, and Luciano Pavarotti.
This July, the amphitheater below the Parthenon is the truly breathtaking backdrop for the the film-concert of the Athens State Orchestra, led by Jens Troester. As part of the Athens Festival 2017, they'll play music by Dmitri Shostakovich, live to Sergej Eisensteins landmark film "Battleship Potemkin".
Troester: "I'm very excited: about the orchestra, the movie, the great music, and, of course, about the incredible concert venue!"
Following his new score for "Golem", film composer Jens Troester presents the next composition in this ambitious musical genre: The film "Moritz Daniel Oppenheim" has its premiere at the Jerusalem Film Festival on December 28. For the story of this most famous of Jewish painters of the 19th century, Troester writes a score for string quartet which is both expressive and intimate. "Oppenheim wasn't just a contemporary of Mendelssohn, he also painted portraits of Mendelssohn's sister Fanny. It seemed natural to use Mendelsson - and in particular his final quartet op. 80 - as a stylistic springboard." A formidable challenge, since: "The chamber music of this romantic composer is of the highest order. To write something of that quality requires enormous craftsmanship."
Together with the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt, 7,548 musicians from across the country perform in the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt, thus narrowly beating the "mere" 7,224 musicians that had gathered in Brisbane in 2013 as The Biggest Orchestra in the World. A new world record! At the concluding concert, Jens Troester conducts excerpts from Mussorgsky, Beethoven, and the Star Wars music by John Williams in front of an audience of over 10,000 people. A day full of emotions and a night to remember!
For the third time, Jens Troester travels to Norway to conduct film-music with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra. After two silent films, something new this time around: „Dunder“, a charming computer-animated movie will be accompanied live with the brilliant music by Sindre Hotvedt. Troester comments: “The film is in the best Pixar tradition, and a challenge - for me as well as the orchestra. Mood changes come at lightening speed, lots of tempo- and meter-changes occur, needing everyone’s utmost concentration. I look forward to returning to both the wonderful musicians, and, and, of course, lovely Tromsø.“
After his recent successes as a composer, Jens Troester returns his first love: opera. At the Theater for Lower Saxony in Hildesheim, he will be the Music Director of “The Barber of Seville“ by Rossini. This jewel of the Italian Opera Buffa has delighted audiences since the beginning, it’s a classic, from the sparkling overture, to the famous Figaro-Aria, all the way to the rousing finale. Jens Troester works is joined by the young and talented ensemble, and the orchestra Hildesheim. The premiere is on May 16.
The Capitol-Theater Offenbach (a former synagogue, then a movie theater) is the perfect stage for the premiere of „The Golem“. The new music by Jens Troester receives its first performance under the direction of the composer in the series “Capitol Claaic Lounge“, on Febuary 8. As with his previous composition, his “Fantasy on Silent Night“, praise for the new work is unanimous, and comes equally from the musicians of the orchestra, the audience, and the critics.
The Offenbach Post writes:
“Jens Troester’s vast experience as a conductor of opera helps him to find a sound musical structure, balancing the emotions and the story. And he certainly succeeds. A great arc spans the entire piece. There are Leitmotivs, but they are not over-used. Stylistically, Troester finds a convincing mix of late-romantic orchestral opulence, modern touches, some allusions to the Baroque era, and tasteful and intelligent quotes from traditional Jewish folklore. The colorful full orchestra is intersperced with expressive solo-passages, most prominently for oboe an bassoon. Strings are used effectively for menacing tremolos, vivid syncopations, as well as long lyrical melodic lines. A large percussion section and fanfares for brass contribute heavily. And the musicians put their backs into it. As captivated as the music may be being performed live: Troester succeeds in serving the needs of the film, enhancing the cinematic experience. A shimmering sound accompanies the Rabbi’s look into the stars, as he predicts doom for his people. Grandiose climaxes underscore the commotion caused by the Emperor’s decree. The creature comes to life in a captivating scene. And the deep sorrow of the Golem over his fate, shown in close-up, have inspired Troester to write emotional and lyric passages. At the end, Troester met the thundering ovations visibly moved.“
In January, Troester puts the final touches on his score to the classic film “The Golem“ (1920), a milestone of the German Expressionistic Cinema of the silent era. The music is commissioned by the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt, in collaboration with the European Film Philharmonic, and has kept the composer busy for almost an entire year.
Troester on his work: “My goal was to do justice to the film on every level: Utmost orchestral brilliance and color for the spectacular scenes of the Jewish folk-tale, emotional depth for the plight of the Golem, who’s the prototype for all the tragic monsters of the horror-film genre to come. The Structure of the film, and of the music should become one. In the end though, audiences should be thoroughly immersed in the film, and not take note of the music at all.“
For this, Troester uses all the resources of the large symphony orchestra, and find a musical style encompassing romantic, impressionistic, and modern elements. It’s highly personal, yet follows the film even in its minutest detail.
Besides his work as a conductor, this past half year, Jens Troester has been equally successful as a composer. The entertaining 15-minute “Fantasy on Silent Night“ had its premiere by the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt. Audiences responded with ovations, and the critics praised the enthralling orchestral work, finding musical influences by Schubert, Bruckner, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Ravel. “All quite true,“ says the composer. “I wanted to write a piece combining the festive sentiments of Christmas with touches of humour, both witty and warm at the same time. And I wanted to write a showpiee for my orchestra.“
The Hanauer Anzeiger summed it up in its review: “Yet another highlight of the program was Jens Troester’s ‘Fantasy on Silent Night’. Arguably the most famous christmas song in the world is treated to a breathtaking series of variations. In their wildest dreams, Franz Xaver Gruber (the organist who wrote the music in 1818), and his lyricist Joseph Mohr could not have envisioned their charming little ditty in the guise of a thundering Bolero à la Ravel. But Troester and the virtuoso playing of the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt makes one look forward to the coming 2015-Season. Chapeau!“
The phenomenal success of his debut as a conductor of silent film is leading to an exciting cooperation between Jens Troester and the European Film Philharmonic in Berlin. The Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt is commissioning a new score to one of the landmarks of the German expressionistic cinema, “The Golem, and How He Came Into the World“. This 1920 classic film demands a large-scale score for full symphonic orchestra. A task to which the composer is very much looking forward to: “To write for this wonderful orchestra with its wide array of possibilities, to incorporate my passion for the dramatic, as well as my experience from the theater - it’s a bit like winning the lottery…“
The Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt and their First Conductor are excited about the next project: On Febuary 2nd, the orchestra will be accompanying “Safety Last“, the classic movie comedy made in 1923 - live! Harold Lloyd clinging onto the hand of a clock, high above the streets: This scene has become one of the most famous in the history of the silent cinema. The Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt writes, “Jens Troester is making his debut as a conductor of silent film. With his quick wit and stylistic assurance, his experience in musical theater, and his fondness of expressive music-making, we’re convinced that this project will be a joyous one for everyone involved: the orchestra, the conductor and, of, course, the audience.“
After some very successful concert events during the summer and fall, the upcoming projects of the next couple of months give proof to the amazing versatility of conductor Jens Troester, and the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt. It starts classically with Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony in November, Christmas concerts in December (with Bach’s Christmas Oratorium on the program), and Harold Lloyds silent comedy “Safety Last“, beginning of 2014. Then, in Febuary, something very special: The Frankfurt Opera Ball. The city’s rich and famous gather together for the social event of the year, and the conductor will be working with stars like Till Brönner, Erwin Schrott, Grace Bumbry, and - last, but not least - Heino!
Jens Troester is excited about teaming up once more with one of his favorite artists: Dina Ugorskaja. Based in Munich, the Russian pianist will be playing Beethoven’s Fifth and final piano concerto at the Klasse Klassik Sommer 2013 in Friedberg.
After collaborating in 2012 on Mozart’s last piano concerto, “all good things come in threes,“ says Troester. “Next on the wish-list is Brahms’s Second Concerto. Or how about the Schumann Concerto? That’s his last one as well, isn’t it?“
Also on the program is Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition“ in the orchestral version by Maurice Ravel. The orchestra is the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt.
Jens Troester is leaving the Theater und Philharmonie Thüringen.
After a sold-out final performance of “Swan Lake“, the Artistic Director and the management of the theater praise the accomplishments of his five-year tenure, including the last two years, when he was Acting General Music Director.
The Philharmonic Orchestra is grateful for the multitude of successful and exciting performances and concerts, and hopes he will be returning often. Troester will be remembered as “the intrepid, gracious, and sympathetic leader, who was always open for the ideas, as well as the frequent questions and the occasional worries of each and every orchestra member.“
“In situations where we doubted our abilities, you believed in our strengths with indomitable confidence and composure,“ said the orchestra.
Jens Troester conducted almost 300 concerts and performances at the Theater Altenburg/Gera. The series “Rediscovered Works of the 20th Century“, and the creation of the Concerts at Altenburg Castle owe much to his creative persistence.