Josep Pons appointed Chief Conductor of Deutsche Radio Philharmonie
Spanish conductor, Josep Pons, is appointed the new Chief Conductor of Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, assuming the position at the start of the 2025/26 season. He will succeed the Finn Pietari Inkinen, who ended his term of office when his contract expires in the summer of 2025.
Josep Pons is regarded as the leading Spanish conductor of his generation. He has been associated with Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, and its predecessor orchestra, Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, as a guest conductor since 2006. Since then, he has appeared with Deutsche Radio Philharmonie at the 2017 Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw, conducted the opening concert of the 2017 Saar Music Festival, and performed with violinist Frank-Peter Zimmermann in Mannheim and Saarbrücken (2018 and 2011). The list of works that Josep Pons has compiled with the orchestra in these years already shows the enormous range of his repertoire: from Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Ravel and Debussy to Spanish music, Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto and contemporary music by Mauricio Sotelo and Benet Casablancas.
Josep Pons is the musical director of the Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house in Barcelona and holds the position of honorary conductor of Orquesta Nacional de España. His previous engagements include prestigious orchestras such as Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, WDR Köln, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Orchestre de Paris, NHK Symphony Orchestra, and BBC Symphony Orchestra, amongst others. Known for his innovative and unique revolutionary projects, Josep Pons aims for the organic development of institutions beyond music.
Martin Grasmück, Director General of Saarländischer Rundfunk:
“Josep Pons, a highly experienced conductor and thoroughbred musician, is taking over as Chief Conductor of Deutsche Radio Philharmonie. He got to know our orchestra as RSO Saarbrücken in 2006, before the merger with SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserslautern. In the years that followed until today, he was able to see the artistic development of Deutsche Radio Philharmonie for himself and was personally involved in it. His decision to take over the orchestra as Chief Conductor from autumn 2025 makes us happy and proud.”
Kai Gniffke, Director General of Südwestrundfunk:
“Josep Pons has already worked as a conductor with many world-class orchestras — the fact that he has now decided to take over the direction of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie makes us proud and shows the outstanding quality of this orchestra. With his strong artistic signature, he will continue to develop the DRP in the coming years. The audience can look forward to many exciting and delightful concert moments.”
Maria Grätzel, Orchestra Manager of Deutsche Radio Philharmonie:
“Josep Pons, a great musician with an international reputation, is taking over the helm of the DRP. He is a personality with a strong creative drive. A central concern of his is to make thematic references transparent in his programmes and to focus on one distinctive theme each season. He addresses the relevant issues of our time as well as the changing habits both of and in concerts. He attaches particular importance to raising the awareness and enthusiasm of children and young people for and through music. I look forward to working with him expectantly with great pleasure!”
Orchestra Board of Deutsche Radio Philharmonie:
“Orchestra colleagues who have had the good fortune to make music with him are enthusiastic about his way of making programmes and rehearsing. He has a wonderful singing voice, which he also uses quite naturally in rehearsals to pass on his idea of special phrases to us. We are very much looking forward to working with him…”