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Meet Matthias Pintscher

New Music Director of your KC Symphony

Taking the podium in 2024 with a mandate to help draw new audiences to classical music.

Matthias Pintscher, Evocative Composer, to Lead KC Symphony

Taking the podium in 2024 with a mandate to help draw new audiences to classical music.

Matthias Pintscher, Evocative Composer, to Lead KC Symphony

The German-born composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher didn’t know what to expect when he traveled to Missouri in March to lead a series of performances with the KC Symphony. He had never been to the city, nor had he worked with its orchestra. But after a few days of rehearsing and performing works by Ravel, Ligeti and Scriabin, Pintscher felt a deep connection with the ensemble. “There was magic," he said in an interview. “A willingness to really give the best.” The orchestra was impressed, too: On Tuesday, May 9, it announced that Pintscher had agreed to serve as its next music director. He will succeed Michael Stern, who has been the orchestra’s leader since 2005. “It was such a warm welcome, by the city, the locals, the public, the musicians,” said Pintscher. “It was a happy arrival."

Read the full New York Times article here!


Matthias Pintscher | Conductor & Composer

Matthias Pintscher is the newly appointed Music Director of the Kansas City Symphony, effective from the 2024-25 season. He has just concluded a successful decade-long tenure as the Music Director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the iconic Parisian contemporary ensemble founded by Pierre Boulez and winner of the 2022 Polar Prize. During his stewardship, Pintscher led this most adventurous institution in the creation of dozens of world premieres by cutting edge composers from all over the world and took the ensemble on tours around the globe – to Asia and North America, and throughout Europe to all the major festivals and concert halls.

The 2023-24 season will be Pintscher’s fourth year as Creative Partner at the Cincinnati Symphony, where he will conduct a new work by inti figgis-vizueta, as well as an immersive video-concert of Olivier Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles. He will also tour with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie where he is artist in residence. As guest conductor, he returns to the RAI Milano Musica, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, NDR Hamburg, Indianapolis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, Lahti Symphony, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, La Scala, and Berlin’s Boulez Ensemble. Pintscher has conducted several opera productions for the Berliner Staatsoper, Wiener Staatsoper, and the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris. He returns to the Berliner Staatsoper in 2024 for Beat Furrer’s Violetter Schnee.

Pintscher is also well known as a composer, and his works appear frequently on the programs of major symphony orchestras throughout the world. In August 2021, he was the focus of the Suntory Hall Summer Festival – a weeklong celebration of his works with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra as well as a residency by the EIC with symphonic and chamber music performances. His third violin concerto, Assonanza, written for Leila Josefowicz, was premiered in January 2022 with the Cincinnati Symphony.

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A Few Questions with Matthias Pintscher

JOE’s ….hands down (particularly for their Barbecue sauce…!)

Listening to records of the Nutcracker and Bach Brandenburg Concerto 3 as a four year old and listening to my father play the oboe (he is a retired pharmacist but still plays the oboe every week for rehearsals in a local music lover amateur orchestra, at the age of 86…way to go, dad!)
I love everything contemporary art, and I’m particularly interested in the great American Minimalists like Brice Marden, Cy Twombly, Agnes Martin, Richard Serra, Robert Ryman, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly…
And I love to cook when I am home. In NYC, where I live, there is always food for anyone that wants to stop by spontaneously.

Somehow they are all my “favorite” children, and it’s all a work in progress. You never feel accomplished, its a life long journey of exploring and extending the realm of your artistic possibilities….naturally I feel closer to them more recent works but it is fascinating to rediscover my own works that I wrote twenty years ago: I really have to sit down again to “study” those early works in order to perform them…

Well… Joe’s Barbecue sauce (followed by everything Japanese like Miso, Yondu, Wasabi or anything middle eastern like Rose Harrissa, Baharat, Tahini or Zaatar).

The privilege to be the “interface” in between the text (the score) and the sound (the entity of the musicians)… always hoping for the moment of the extraordinary to happen, the illusive moment that everyone feels together, on stage and in the audience… those moments allow us to “fly.”

Dilute the human toxicity that surrounds us…. make more people believe in kindness. Make everyone be more able to listen (!) to each other.

Often  it really moves me if kids (that have not been “educated” yet and are still an open book for all artistic endeavors  that await them) like the “modern” piece more than the established standard work of the canon on the same program.

The abundance of curiosity and support from basically everyone I have met so far in our inspiring and inspired community.