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Local orchestra grows international partnership

Denver, Bavarian Philharmonic music directors co-appointed as principal guest conductors

DENVER and MUNICH — A multi-year transatlantic partnership between the Denver Philharmonic (DPO) and the Bayerische Philharmonie (BayPhil, or Bavarian Philharmonic) has been renewed and expanded. The international partnership debuted four years ago by proclamation from then-Governor (now-Sen.) John Hickenlooper declaring April 7, 2017, as “Denver and Bavarian Philharmonic Day.” Wednesday, the orchestras announced the agreement will extend through 2024.

“Since the official launch of the partnership, April 7 has always been a special day for us,” said Bayerische Philharmonie CEO and Artistic Director Mark Mast. “We are happy to announce the continuation of our relationship today, and we are looking very much forward to deepen our musical partnership and friendship with the Denver Philharmonic.”

Over the course of three seasons, the two orchestras exchanged musicians for six concerts—three in each city. The most recent was performed in 2019 at the Munich International Airport as part of a sister-city celebration with DIA.

Two men in a street in Munich, Germany.

Denver Philharmonic Music Director Lawrence Golan has conducted the BayPhil in Munich twice, and a third concert, scheduled for July 2020, was postponed due to COVID.

Golan said, “I so enjoy working with the Munich-based orchestra and chorus—both for their artistic excellence and for their warm and welcoming nature.”

Deepening the partnership, leaders from both organizations have come together to not only renew the relationship but elevate each other’s conductors to principal guest conductor positions.

As part of the updated agreement, Mast has been appointed principal guest conductor of the DPO for the upcoming three seasons. Through 2023–24, Denver audiences can expect to see Maestro Mast once per year.

“DPO musicians very much enjoy working with Mark Mast as a guest conductor, and he’s become an audience favorite. We are delighted to now be bringing him over on a more formal and regular basis,” said Golan.

Appointed principal guest conductor of the Bayerische Philharmonie through the 2024 season, Golan will conduct once per year in Munich. In July 2022, he will conduct the postponed encore performance of Beethoven’s 9th and other works featuring the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bayerische Philharmonie Chorus.

“Music connects people all over the world and creates understanding across borders of language, culture, politics, and geography,” said Christian Timmer, president of the BayPhil advisory board. “We have experienced so many positive and long-lasting experiences with our Colorado friends.”

DPO Board President Jon Olafson echoes Timmer’s sentiments, “This relationship has provided our orchestra’s leaders, musicians, and audiences with so many great memories. We have enjoyed the opportunity to learn, grow, and benefit from another perspective, and we are all excited about deepening these ties.”

Timmer adds, “We can’t wait until we will meet and make music again together.” The next performance, conducted by Mast, is scheduled in Denver for April of 2022.

Headshot Image for Lawrence Golan

Lawrence Golan

Music Director

Acclaimed for his imaginative programming, evocative command of distinctive styles and composers, and vibrant performances, American conductor Lawrence Golan has served as Music Director of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra since…

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Headshot Image for Mark Mast

Mark Mast

Principal Guest Conductor

Early in his career, Mark had the great fortune to meet and study with Leonard Bernstein, who provided a major impetus for his professional development and confidence as a conductor.…

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