Copenhagen Phil proudly announces the appointment of internationally renowned conductor Thomas Dausgaard as its Honorary Guest Conductor. His tenure begins from the upcoming 2024/2025 season with a commitment spanning four seasons.

Thomas Dausgaard brings with him a wealth of experience and a unique artistic vision, poised to enrich Copenhagen Phil’s repertoire and elevate its musical expression. Recognised for his innovative programming and profound musical interpretations, Dausgaard’s tenure promises to inspire audiences and invigorate the orchestra’s artistic journey. In the upcoming seasons, Dausgaard will curate a series of performances, crafting programmes that showcase his distinctive approach to music. Audiences can anticipate a blend of familiar classics and hidden gems, with Dausgaard breathing new life into both celebrated masterworks and lesser-known pieces.

Peter Lodahl, Copenhagen Phil’s Music Director, expresses his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating:

“It is a great pleasure to engage Thomas Dausgaard in this new collaboration. Dausgaard has a tremendous amount to offer – artistically and programmatically – and we look forward to him now having the opportunity to work with and develop Copenhagen Phil.”

Echoing this sentiment, Thomas Dausgaard shares the excitement of this new chapter, remarking:

“I am captivated by the dynamic spirit of Copenhagen Phil and look forward to embarking on this journey of exploration together. The orchestra’s role as a vital artistic voice resonates deeply within me, and I am committed to fostering its growth and engaging future generations through music.”

To launch their new partnership, Dausgaard will lead Copenhagen Phil in a performance on April 12, 2024, at the Conservatory Concert Hall in Copenhagen. The programme, meticulously chosen by Dausgaard himself, will feature Amy Beach’s evocative “Gaelic Symphony” and Leonard Bernstein’s monumental “Songfest – A Cycle of American Poems for Six Singers and Orchestra”, a piece that sets music to poems by the best poets in US history, from Walt Whitman to Gertrude Stein and Edgar Allan Poe. The Copenhagen Phil invites audiences to join them on this transformative musical journey under the guidance of Thomas Dausgaard, a visionary conductor dedicated to pushing artistic boundaries and inspiring generations to come.

Dausgaard shares his admiration of both composers while reflecting on these works, stating:

“Bernstein’s Songfest embodies the rich tapestry of American culture, weaving together diverse musical styles and poetic voices. I was lucky to be in Bernstein’s masterclass for young conductors at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in 1988; here he instructed and performed his own Songfest, of which I have since been a big fan! It was composed for the bicentenary of the USA and, fittingly, is stylistically diverse in the spirit of a Mahler symphony – jazz, neoclassical, 12-tone, expressionist, romantic; Songfest was a personal favourite of his, exposing the soft spots of his country and of himself, ironically as well as deeply

“Meanwhile, Amy Beach’s Gaelic Symphony (1894) stands as a testament to her pioneering spirit and transcendent musical vision. For me, this is the first great symphony written by an American composer. Self-taught at a time when teaching women could be considered harmful to their reproductive abilities (!), the symphony is a vivid response to Dvorak’s 9th. Where Dvorak searched for “Americanness” in the music of Native and Black Americans, for Beach, America was also the land of immigrants from all over the globe. In the “Gaelic” she explores her family’s roots in the music of Ireland and Scotland, filling her brilliant symphony with engaging tunes and expressions.”

The appointment of Thomas Dausgaard as Copenhagen Phil’s Honorary Guest Conductor has been made possible through the generous support of the Danish Research Foundation.