The entire ensemble appears to be in excellent condition in terms of singing and dancing, and the support from the slim, always crisp and à point instrumental ensemble in the orchestra pit, which the young Kapellmeister Maximilian Otto confidently brings into harmony with the ensemble, is also fantastic. ¹

Torsten Kohlschein about the premiere of “Cabaret” at the Chemnitz Opera House in September 2023

The piano concerto played by the 20-year-old Maximilian Otto, where he also acted as a soloist, premiered in 2018, was heard. In his own words, dealing with an invisible foreign domination, which inevitably interferes with one's own free action, formed the intellectual basis for the roughly half-hour opus. This resulted in a constant rebellion against dark tendencies and the flight into inner immersion. Skillfully used clusters, piano cadences in abundance, tonal echoes especially in the introverted middle section, eruptive outbreaks and exacerbations, silent drying up - a decidedly varied work has emerged, which gains its fascination especially from emotional freshness, from its richness of contrasts, which has not at all something artificial wanted. Maximilian Otto kneeled in his part with an unrestrained will to express, creativity and verve. The ladies and gentlemen of the Elbland Philharmonie Sachsen were highly committed, differentiated music-making companions to him. What a devoted, technically skilled pianist Maximilian Otto is, he later proved in Bela Bartók's powerful, bubbly Romanian dance. ²

Mareile Hanns about a performance of the piano concerto op. 32 in April 2019 in the concert hall of the Dresden University of Music

If, however, such an ambitious program has to be taken over by another conductor due to illness on the day of the first rehearsal and this is a student of 20 years who rehearses and conducts all works without compromises, that is probably the greatest of the many sensations. Maximilian Otto, himself a composer, pianist, double bass player and conducting student in the first year of studies, led this mammoth program with an astonishing overview, cautiously and without a show. He was sure to receive thanks from the audience and the orchestra - in the end everyone was beaming with one another. ³

Ekkehard Klemm on the anniversary concert of Sinfonietta Dresden in 2019

Because Otto and the ensemble approached the works with their own high standards - not only did the notes sit neatly in their place in the fantasy overture“ Romeo and Juliet ”. The story of Shakespeare's lovers was played with a lot of tension and courageous approach, and the difficult acoustics of the hall were mastered as well as the task of making seven first violins (there will certainly be more for upcoming projects) sound like fourteen. 4

Alexander Keuk on the founding concerts of the Junge Sinfonie Dresden in 2019

He leaves the Contrapunctus I untouched in its holistic simplicity. The strings begin, the oboe takes over the next part, and after the timpany roll has been carefully prepared, the brass is allowed to speak. The freshman orchestrates along the natural flow of music with astonishing certainty - and thus arrives at a result that need not fear comparison with those of his established composer colleagues. 5 5

Werner Kopfmüller on the premiere of the orchestration of Contrapunctus I from Bach's “The Art of Fugue” under the direction of Omer Meir Wellber with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen in 2019


¹ Freie Presse, from article: “Wenn die große Politik das kleine Glück tötet” by Torsten Kohlschein from 19th September 2023

² Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, from article: „Jugend und Erfahrung“ by Mareile Hanns, 11th April 2019