Anton Bernhard sets it up

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FROM: Piotr Schiel

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Anton Bernhard is looking forward to performing in Pöcking. © private

Due to the long start-up time due to the crown, the time has finally come: this Saturday the Philharmonie Starnberger See is giving its first ever concert. Founder and conductor Anton Bernhard (42) was able to inspire some 45 musicians from Starnberg and the surrounding area.

Starnberg / Pöcking – A life without music is definitely unimaginable for him. At the age of five, Anton Bernhard began learning to play the trumpet at the municipal music school in Starnberg. The following year a piano was added. The hobby has long since turned into a profession. The 42-year-old has been teaching music at Starnberg High School since 2009 and plays the trumpet in theater, opera and TV productions. This Saturday, May 21, it will open a new chapter: at 20:00 Philharmonie Starnberger See will give their first concert in Beccult in Pöcking. And Bernhard not only conducts, he is the founder, boss and driving force of the ensemble, artistic director and president of the associated association.

In an interview with Starnberger, Merkur Bernhard describes himself as “a classic fan and nerd orchestra.” Raised in Maising, he graduated from the Starnberg Gymnasium, then studied school music at the University of Music and Theater in Munich and trumpet at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, adding numerous master classes and orchestral conducting. Bernhard reports that in recent years he has been frequently asked to form a symphony orchestra. “There are classical proposals, such as Musica Starnberg for oratorio or chamber music, but no symphony orchestra.”

The Philharmonic sees itself as a “project orchestra”

So the idea has matured. In autumn 2019, he gathered together about 20 musicians relatively quickly – friends, high school students, their parents, acquaintances who, for example, played in student orchestras and were interested in something new. Whether you’re jumping from a school band to an ambitious orchestra, reverting to music after years of parental leave, or looking for new musical challenges: “They’re all pure amateurs,” says Bernhard. The group barely recovered when the crown pandemic hit well-known consequences. But: “And that’s how we developed,” says Bernhard. The Philharmonic currently has about 45 active musicians. The youngest musician is 15 years old, the oldest is almost 80 years old.

Bernhard sees the Philharmonic as a “project orchestra”, which means: everyone meets for their first rehearsals in the fall, then they practice their part at home, and then they start together in January. This year it was after the carnival holidays. Since then, rehearsals have been held once a week, always on Fridays, in the hall of the gymnasium, and finally the orchestra has met in the Catholic club room. There is more space there, Bernhard explains the change of location – and this is necessary because the last rehearsals before the concert are and there are about 15 guest musicians to fill in the missing parts (bassoon, horns, tuba, some trombones).

Premiere at Pöckinger Beccult

In total, around 60 musicians will appear on the stage in Beccult on Saturday. Incidentally, the premiere in Pöcking has nothing to do with the proximity to Bernhard’s Maising residence, but simply with the fact that the Schlossberghalle is not accessible due to ongoing renovation work. The program includes “Spring Symphony” by Schumann, “Gypsy Melodies for Violin” by Sarasate and “Bacchanale of Samson et Dalila” by Saint-Saens. Tickets cost 20 euros (reduced ten euros) and are available from the Starnberg Tourist Information Center (Hauptstraße 1) and from the Pöcking Community Library (Hauptstraße 8).

By the way, an ambitious project is not meant to be a flash in the pan. “We have already booked the Schlossberghalle for next year,” says Anton Bernhard, leaving no doubt: “I am passionate about this matter.”

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