Matthias Benker studied at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin with Alfred Lipka. He has been a member of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra since 2002, has played at the Lucerne Festival and has been principal violist with the soloists of the Kammerphilharmonie Berlin, the Neues Berliner Kammerorchester and the Deutsches Kammerorchester. Matthias Benker is a member of the current orchestra board.
The collaborative development of an interpretation and the joint effort to come up with the best possible performance of a piece of music is a way of working that I value very much. Especially after the preparations for a concert programme that have to be completed alone, I wouldn’t want to miss the exchange of ideas and music with my colleagues. I am a team player...
I already found the field of cultural management very exciting during my music studies. It would always have been a second option in terms of my interests. Developing my own music festival or something along those lines together with other colleagues is still a vision I have on the horizon.
One of the most important things for me before a concert is to eat! When I feel hungry, it’s much harder for me to muster up the strength I need during a concert. That’s why eating before a concert is just as important to me as warming up.
There are a few, but I can’t commit to just one composer. Richard Wagner is definitely one of them – as a member of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, I was able to immerse myself in his work. But I am also inspired by the symphonic works of Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Anton Bruckner and Dmitri Shostakovich. With all composers, of course, I have my favourites, not all pieces appeal to me equally. In chamber music, there are composers like Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Ralph Vaughan Williams and others whom I continually rediscover, especially with the Horenstein Ensemble.