7 questions for Tobias Rempe

By Konzerthaus Berlin May 22, 2024


What does Berlin mean to you?

I lived here with my wife and my son was born here. Berlin is a city of great opportunities and incredible creative diversity. Its vibrant international atmosphere is a great inspiration for me. That's why I'm delighted to be returning here after almost 20 years and to be able to help shape this cultural metropolis.

What made you decide to apply for the directorship of the Konzerthaus and Konzerthausorchester?

I have always followed the Konzerthaus and its development with great interest and fascination. I have the feeling that my motivation to link classical music with a city and its contemporary life fits in well with the possibilities and history of the building and orchestra.

What experiences and moments in your career were particularly important for your personal history?

My time as a violinist in the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie was certainly very formative. The highlight projects there - Peter Eötvös with “The Miraculous Mandarin” by Bartók! - showed me what is possible in a symphony orchestra. This transformative influence of music had a profound effect on me. It led us to the founding of Ensemble Resonanz and has always been central to my enthusiasm, both as a musician and as a manager. The energy and vision of Ensemble Resonanz then led me to explore the power of music in a redefining city like Hamburg in collaborations and new places.

Why did you decide to give up the violin professionally and switch completely to management?

Looking back, it wasn't such a big break. For me, the transition to management was more of a natural evolution of my role within Ensemble Resonanz. As a musician, I was already heavily involved in planning and strategic decisions. The "change of sides" formalized my existing involvement and gave me responsibility - which I soon felt was a great gift. 

Do you still play the violin?

(laughs) Occasionally, maybe two or three times a year, mainly for family occasions. When I do, I still really enjoy playing.

Tobias Rempe

"This also means reaching out even more to the city's many independent music scenes and their audiences - there is incredible musical diversity in Berlin."

What visions do you have for the Konzerthaus Berlin?

In my opinion, the Konzerthaus is characterized by the intelligent use of its location and resources. I see a great opportunity to position the house and its orchestra even more strongly as a central institution for classical music for all Berliners. To achieve this, we must actively engage with the diversity of the city and not just wait at Gendarmenmarkt for people to come to us. We also have to listen, learn, move and become even more present and relevant through direct interaction and cooperation. This also means reaching out even more to the city's many independent music scenes and their audiences - there is a incredible musical diversity in Berlin. I want to go down this path with the entire Konzerthaus team - with Joana Mallwitz, the orchestra, Janina Paul and all the staff. I am looking forward to it.

“We have to listen too!”

How important is music education to you?

Communicating what we do is not a division of the program or an individual responsibility within the team. It is a central aspect of our work. From the initial program or project idea, it is about helping to shape the field of tension in which the music can have an impact: Audience, program, format, location, narrative, communication. How can we make music tangible and encourage discovery, how can we reach people? You could also say that mediation is everything for me - the entire experience.

"An audience that actively participates and contributes its energy to the concert experience. That is the most beautiful thing."

What would you like to say to the Konzerthaus audience in advance?

A quote from Nikolaus Harnoncourt comes to mind, who said: “The perfect interpretation is created precisely on the border between risk and chaos.” That's fantastically exaggerated and could be applied to many things; it paints a picture of safety and sensation as competing goals. In this sense, I would like to find the right balance with people. I am looking forward to a Berlin audience that loves music and is curious and open to new musical experiences. An audience that actively participates and contributes its energy to the concert experience. That's the most beautiful thing.

About the person

Tobias Rempe, who began his musical career as a violinist, was most recently Artistic Manager and Managing Director of Ensemble Resonanz. He brings with him an impressive combination of artistic vision and management expertise. Under his leadership, Ensemble Resonanz established itself as the resident ensemble of the Elbphilharmonie and an international model project for the communication of classical music in urban society. He opened the resonanzraum St. Pauli with the ensemble and developed numerous new formats with the musicians, which distinguish him as a future-oriented cultural manager and concert designer. In April 2024, the ensemble was awarded the Johannes Brahms Medal of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.


For this event, you will not receive tickets through our webshop. You will therefore be redirected to an external page of the organizer. If you have any not completed bookings on konzerthaus.de, they will be dissolved after 20 minutes.