Conductor Teodor Currentzis Launches New “Utopia” Orchestra

The “Utopia” orchestra unites world-class musicians from orchestras around the world to perform on international tours

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(Photo credit: Anton Zavjyalov)

 

Teodor Currentzis is a Greek conductor, musician, and actor, who currently serves as chief conductor of the SWR Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart and artistic director of the musicAeterna ensemble and chamber choir. 

"Utopia" is a new international orchestra that aims to bring together soloists and concertmasters from various orchestras into one collective and provide an opportunity to delve deeper into the music — an idea Currentzis, the ensemble’s artistic director, had several years ago.

“This dream is not just mine,” Currentzis said in the press release. “This is a long-nurtured idea of a large number of musicians from all corners of the world: to unite people with a shared musical ideology in order to create without compromise what our musical imagination comes up with.

"This is an attempt to leave behind the framework of respectable institutions which, while being blessed, can also be doomed to create what could be described as a certain standardized international sound.”

A free orchestra, Utopia’s members will vary depending on the instruments required from the score. Their first concert will comprise 112 musicians from 28 countries. With no permanent residence, Utopia is funded through concerts and is supported by a private foundation and European patrons. 

Ahead of two additional tours scheduled for the 2022/23 season, Utopia will perform its first concert tour from October 4–11, 2022, in venues including the Philharmonie Luxembourg, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Wiener Konzerthaus, and Berliner Philharmonie. 

The first concert program involves 20th-century works, including Igor Stravinsky’s third and rarely performed 1945 version of The Firebird, plus Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé suite No. 2 and La Valse — pieces selected for their complexity, flair, and ability to showcase Utopia’s musical capabilities.

“We are stepping into a more experimental field of searching for the perfect sound with masterful musicians who all crave it,” Currentzis added. “The first thing that suffers through globalization is intimacy. This thrill, unity and dedication I am talking about can most likely be found in the work of an individual musician or a small collective…we will give up what we used to know and we will take a leap. 

“Of course, this is a utopian idea. Utopia is something that is impossible, and that's what attracts us — making the impossible. Dreams come true only when we lift the ban on the impossible.”