Giedrė Šlekytė to Make Her North American Debut Leading Staatskapelle Berlin in Koerner Hall

At only 34 years old, Šlekytė is already sought-after internationally as a guest conductor, having worked with the Munich Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, and more.

By: Nov. 17, 2023
Giedrė Šlekytė to Make Her North American Debut Leading Staatskapelle Berlin in Koerner Hall

The Royal Conservatory will present upcoming Staatskapelle Berlin concerts in Koerner Hall will be led by dynamic Lithuanian conductor Giedrė Šlekytė, who recently performed critically acclaimed performances with the Staatskapelle Berlin.
Unfortunately, due to health reasons, Daniel Barenboim has excused himself from the entire tour. He said: “It is with great regret that I need to withdraw from the Staatskapelle Berlin’s upcoming concert tour to Canada and the USA. I was very much looking forward to returning to this tour but my health simply does not allow me to undertake the strenuous transatlantic travel and the many domestic trips required for this tour. I am thankful for everyone’s understanding and good wishes.”
The orchestra is overjoyed to be making its Canadian debut with Maestra Šlekytė. “She is so accommodating to the sound of the Staatskapelle Berlin and performs with so much enthusiasm, allowing the orchestra to dive deep and fly high. She truly embodies the joy of making music. The whole orchestra is very supportive of Giedrė Šlekytė and happy to be a part of her North American debut – we are all excited to write a bit of music history together,” stated the board of the Staatskapelle Berlin.
Giedrė Šlekytė’s and the orchestra’s recent appearance in Berlin this November was celebrated by the audience and press: “Barely a generation has passed since women entered the male domain of top orchestras ... Today, there are plenty of them at the most sought-after podiums, each more interesting than the other. Giedrė Šlekytė however stands out in terms of energy, passion and determination ... Her symphonic debut with the Staatskapelle Berlin can only be described as brilliant.” (Der Tagesspiegel)
Toronto audiences will be able to say, “we saw her first in Koerner Hall!”
Born in Vilnius, Giedrė Šlekytė studied conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, the Academy of Music and Theatre in Leipzig, and the Zurich University of Arts.  
At only 34 years old, Šlekytė is already sought-after internationally as a guest conductor, having worked with the Munich Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Boulez-Ensemble Berlin, Camerata Salzburg, Staatskapelle Dresden, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, SWR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. Following a brilliant debut with the Bruckner Orchester Linz in 2019, she was named their Principal Guest Conductor in 2021-22.
After her engagement as 1st Kapellmeister at Stadttheater Klagenfurt from 2016 to 2018, Giedrė Šlekytė conducted opera productions at the Frankfurt Opera, Komische Oper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, MusikTheater an der Wien, State Opera Prague, Leipzig Opera, as well as the Semperoper Dresden, Berlin State Opera, Tokyo Nikikai Opera, Zurich Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Lithuanian National Opera.
In 2023-24 season, she conducts at major opera houses and symphonies across Europe, including the Royal Danish Opera, Hamburg State Opera, the Zurich Opera, Staatsoper unter den Linden, and Frankfurt Opera. Symphonic engagements this season see her conduct the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Staatskapelle Berlin, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Stuttgart State Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Japan, as well as the Vienna Symphony, both at the Musikverein and the Bregenz Festival.
In autumn 2019, Deutsche Grammophon released the portrait-CD Raminta Šerkšnytė, with Giedrė Šlekytė conducting the oratorio Songs of Sunset and Dawn with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra.                                                                                                                                             
Giedrė Šlekytė is a prize-winner of the International Malko Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen. In 2015, she was nominated for the Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award and in 2018 as “Newcomer of the Year” at the International Opera Awards.
With 450 years of tradition, Staatskapelle Berlin is one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Originally founded as a court orchestra by Prince-Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg in 1570, the ensemble expanded its activities with the founding of the Royal Court Opera in 1742 by Frederick the Great. For the orchestra’s first ever Toronto appearances, they will play all four of Johannes Brahms’s symphonies over two concerts – Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 on November 25 and Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 on November 26.
Matthias Schulz, Intendant of Staatsoper Unter den Linden, remarked: “It is a great honour for us bring the Brahms cycle to four music metropolises across the States and Canada. We immensely look forward to the musical encounters – with great conductors, as well as with the Canadian and North American audiences. We are very happy to form new bonds, when it comes to Toronto, where we will appear for the first time ever in our long history. We cannot wait to go on this special musical journey together with you.”
Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts at the Conservatory, said: “Maestro Barenboim has been a beacon of musical integrity for 73 of his 81 years. He had returned to conducting over the past few months and we are very sad to hear of his most recent illness. With Maestra Šlekytė at the podium, the concerts will remain singular highlights in our 15 years of bringing the finest artists in the world to our spectacular hall and championing new talent. We are honoured to be hosting Šlekytė’s North American debut and look forward to seeing her meteoric rise continue.”      


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