About Florian Merz
From child to conductor
Florian Merz, born in 1967 in Düsseldorf, founded the Classical Philharmonic Düsseldorf at the age of 15 – even before his musical studies at the Vienna College of Music (1984-88). Up until 1993, he continued to perform regular symphony concerts with this ensemble, as well as 18 opera productions (often in cooperation with the German Opera on the Rhein Düsseldorf/Duisburg). In 1992 he was a fellow of the International Association of Wagner Societies for the “Bayreuther Festspiele”. As far back as the beginning of his career, Florian Merz was guided artistically by the practice of historical performance. Merz quickly discovered like-minded artists such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Roger Norrington. His complete recording of the orchestral works of Robert Schumann even received the award "Best CD of the Year 1993" from the US-American musical journal "CD Review". During his studies, Merz also assumed the artistic direction of the Vienna Mozart Soloists, with which he held concerts all over Austria from 1985 to 1988, thus also taking part at renowned festivals such as the "Wiener Festwochen" and the "Haydn Festival Eisenstadt".
Second Home: Bad Elster!
At the age of 24, with his appointment as General Music Director of Chursächsische Philharmonie in Saxonian Bad Elster, Florian Merz became the youngest chief conductor of Germany. He focuses on the practice of historical performance on original instruments from the Baroque, Classic and Romantic periods, making the Chursächsische Philharmonie since 1991/92 a well-known orchestra in this genre.
Here, he not only leads orchestral concerts particularly with the Chursächsische Philharmonie, but also regular music theatre productions (opera, operetta, ballet) together with ensembles such as the Semper Opera Dresden, the Landesbühnen Sachsen and leading Czech theaters. Furthermore he founded in 1996 the EUCHESTRA EGRENSIS as an unifying German-Czech orchestra. After successful debuts at the Hungarian State Opera Budapest (1998) and the Czech State Opera Prague (2001), Merz was often asked back as a guest conductor for the Italian Opera of Bel Canto. In the area of symphony, Florian Merz was a regular guest conductor for the Radio Symphony Orchestra Pilsen (1994-99), the Philharmonic Orchestra Plauen-Zwickau (2000-01), the Vogtland Philharmonic Orchestra Greiz / Reichenbach (2000-2010), since 2010 for the orchestra Concerto Brandenburg (among others leader of the New Year's Eve concert in the Berlin Memorial Church) and - since 2013 – for the Czech National Symphony Orchestra Prague.
He regularly produces CD's with orchestras such as the Bamberger Symphony, the Bavarian State Philharmonic, the Radio Orchestras of the SWR and WDR, the Radio Philharmonic Hannover of the NDR. In 2000, Merz received the "Echo Award" from the German Phono Acadamey for his production "Symphonic Cinema" with the soloist Ulrich Herkenhoff. For the CD production "Ernst Krenek Violin Concerts", Florian Merz, together with Peter Rosenberg (Violin) and the Bamberger Symphonic/Bavarian State Philharmonic, received the coveted German Record Critic Prize in 2001. Furthermore, Merz acted so far as guest conductor for more than 60 orchestras all over Europe, as well as in Brazil, Mexico and in the USA.
Since 2002 GMD Florian Merz is also managing director of the »König Albert Theater Bad Elster«, the »Chursächsische Veranstaltungs- GmbH« and the »Chursächsischen Philharmonie«.
To promote the international top string player talents he founded the »Chursächsischen Meisterkurse Bad Elster« in 2014 and is still leading them. Since 1997 he obtained lectureships among others at the Johannes Gutenberg University / University for Music in Mainz, the Landesmusikakademien Bayern and Nordrhein-Westfalen and the University of Brasília.
Due to his outstanding achievements for the federal state the highest award of the Royal family of Saxony, the St. Henry needle was awarded to him in 2013. He received the prestigious German-Czech speedwell - the EUREGIO EGRENSIS in 2014 and in 2016 he was appointed »Ambassador of the Vogtland«. One year later in 2017 GMD Florian Merz was awarded with the Gold Medal of the Saxon Constitution for his cultural and social commitment.