Bigband der Deutschen Oper Berlin

The American magazine “All About Jazz” writes about the BigBand of the Deutsche Oper Berlin: “Germany, which supports the performing arts to a degree far beyond what is practised here in the United States, has produced a number of world-class big bands as a result of this support. This is one of them.”

The actual birth of the BigBand is considered to be a benefit concert in 2005 featuring the 12 brass players and a percussionist from the German Opera Orchestra. In the beginning, the baritone saxophonist Rolf von Nordenskjöld led the band. In the meantime, jazz trombonist, composer and arranger Manfred Honetschläger provides the right sound. Stars like Katharine Mehrling, Madeline Bell, Lyambiko, Jocelyn B. Smith, Pe Werner, Bill Ramsey, Georgie Fame, Jiggs Whigham, Jeff Cascaro and Richard Galliano have already been guests. In collaboration with General Music Director Donald Runnicles, a crossover concert took place in 2011, as well as the world premiere of the jazz melodrama “The Seduction of Pentheus” by Manfred Honetschläger on the grand stage of the Deutsche Oper with the orchestra and the BigBand of the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2016, also under the direction of GMD Donald Runnicles and together with actor Ben Becker.

Other highlights included a concert with Paul Kuhn in June 2012, which was the last time he performed with a big band. Also worth mentioning is the concert on the occasion of the Brandenburg Summer Concerts 2014 at the non-opened BER Airport Berlin-Brandenburg with over 2000 visitors. The BigBand celebrated its tenth anniversary in March 2016 with a brilliant concert in front of a sold-out audience with soloists Torsten Goods, Polly Gibbons and trumpeter Till Brönner. In April 2018, the BigBand of the Deutsche Oper Berlin was invited to Warsaw for a three-day guest performance, which included two concerts together with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.

Three CDs have been released by monsrecords so far: The CD “Premiere”, released in 2008, was made together with Bill Ramsey, a second was released in 2010 under the title “How long is now?” together with Pascal von Wroblewsky. The third CD, “A Soul Journey”, is a concert recording by RBB from February 2018 with soloists, choir and big band, in which Christian “The Voice” Brückner leads us through the history of soul.