(The Philharmonic Orchestra of „Staatstheater Mainz“)
The Philharmonic Orchestra of the State Theatre of Mainz leads cultural life in the town of Mainz for over 125 years. Its history begins in 1876, when the mayor Franz Schott founded a town orchestra, that could soon boast of a long list of well known visiting conductors: Richard Strauss, Hans Pfitzner, Hans Rosbaud, Gustav Mahler, Karl Schuricht, Erich Kleiber, Hans Knappertsbusch and Eugen Jochum. Since the 1980‘s the Philharmonic Orchestra of the State Theatre of Mainz, under the Musical Directorship of Mladen Basic, Peter Erckens, Stefan Sanderling, and since the summer of 2001 Catherine Rückwardt, the first female music director in Mainz, has become one of the most important orchestras in the Rhine-Main region.
In addition to participation in Opera and ballet performances at the State Theatre – including also world premieres – the Orchestra presents itself also in various concert series, covering not only the repertoire from Baroque to the present day, but makes its mark through unusual and interesting Programme planning, that is also
open to experiments, and moreover makes a large contribution to children and youth work. In this area, the orchestra works regularly with respected visiting conductors and soloists.
Catherine Rückwardt was born in Los Angeles. In the last few years she has become one of the most sought after conductors in Germany. She is Music Director of the Mainz Staatstheater since 2001, and her innovative programming, large repertoire and the widely recognised, highly praised “Mainz Orchestral Sound” (“Mainzer Klang”) have made the music profession take notice of her.
After studying the piano and violin in Hamburg and Lübeck and a first position as conductor at the theatre in Bremen, Catherine Rückwardt received a call to the Opera House at Frankfurt am Main, where she conducted Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Strauss to much acclaim. Her work in Mainz began with the reopening of the renovated Opera House with the sensational success of a staged version of Handel’s oratorio ”Saul“. Productions of ”Tosca“, ”Lohengrin“, ”Ariadne auf Naxos“, ”Freischütz“ and ”La Traviata“ followed. In an exceptionally productive collaberation with the Director and Stage Designer Gottfried Pilz, she brought Peter Ruzicka’s Music Theatre Piece ”Celan“ to the Rhine-Main region.
Moreover Catherine Rückwardt is also a welcome visitor to many orchestras in Germany and the USA, in particular the ”Ensemble Modern“, the orchestras in Bremen, Darmstadt und Frankfurt, and various Radio Companies like SWR and WDR. Her work as a pioneer in her field has been honoured by international associations for women in employment, and by the Bremen Senate. She was awarded the ZONTA Arts Prize in 1999.
Maria Stang (1st Violin) was born in 1975 in St. Petersburg, where she studied at the School for Highly Gifted Children, and at the Conservatoire. After Masterclasses with Victor Liberman and Eric Friedman she continued her studies at the Hochschule for Music and Theatre in Mannheim with Prof. Roman Nodel, and gained her first orchestral experience. In January 2000 she became a member of the Amos Piano Quartet (1st Prize at the “Lario in Musica” competition in Varenna, Italy), and is employed since 2001 as Leader of the second violins in the Philharmonic Orchestra of “Staatstheater Mainz”.
Tobias Sturm (2nd Violin) was born in Bielefeld in 1978 and studied with Ulf Wallin in Detmold and Berlin, Thomas Zehetmaier in Graz, Antje Weithaas in Berlin and in Masterclasses with Thomas Brandis, Igor Ozim, Ana Chumachenko, Walter Levin, and Valery Gradow among others. From 1990 to 1998 he was Leader of the Sturm-Bergk Quartet, attended Chamber Music courses with members of the Cherubini, Alban Berg and Nomos Quartets, and won a prize at the Chamber Music Competition „Paper de Musica“ in Barcelona in 1997. After temporary employment with the RSB and DSO Berlin he was accepted as a member of the Orchestral Academy of the Berlin Staatskapelle. He was employed for the 2003-2004 season as Principal Leader of the Philharmonic Orchestra of “Staatstheater Mainz”.
Malte Schaefer (Viola) was born in 1970 into a family of musicians. After studying music at the Folkwanghochschule Essen and the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule Düsseldorf he was awarded scholarships by the Karajan Academy of the “Berliner Philharmoniker” and the “Carl Flesch” Academy Baden-Baden. From 1997 he was Co-Leader of the Violas in the State Orchestra of Braunschweig, moved in the year 2000 to the “Bamberger Symphoniker”, and since 2001 is Principal Solo Violist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of “Staatstheater Mainz”. He has made numerous recordings and has toured North, Middle and South America, Canada, Japan, Singapore and Europe often as a soloist.
Judith Tiemann (Violoncello) was born in Freiburg in 1972. After her studies at the Hochschule in Saarbrücken with Mario Baumer and Prof. Brunner she became a member of the RIAS Youth Orchestra and the Sinfonietta Saarbrücken. After a period of practical training with the “Stuttgarter Philharmoniker” she has since played with the Philharmonic Orchestra of “Staatstheater Mainz”. She also plays much Chamber Music, and is a resident member of the “Ensemble Couleur”.
The Dutchman Enrico Delamboye was born in 1977 in Wiesbaden. He studied Piano and Viola, and Conducting with Jan Stulen at the Maastricht Conservatoire, where he also completed his studies in Masterclasses with Roberto Benzi and Jan Stulen. After his first performance as an opera conductor at the International May Festival in Wiesbaden (Britten’s “The Rape of Lucretia”) there followed projects with the Maastricht Conservatoire, the Summerborn Opera Festival, the International Opera Centre of the Netherlands, as well as with the Netherlands Opera Studio. In August 2000 Enrico Delamboye began his first permanent position as conductor at the State Theatre of Wiesbaden, and in the 2003-2004 season he was 1st Kapellmeister at “Staatstheater Mainz” under guest contract. Guest performances have taken him, among others, to the “Komische Oper” Berlin and the SWR Orchestra in Kaiserslautern.