Ich glaube an das Unbewußte im Menschen, an diesen tiefen Quell, der der Ursprung seiner Macht ist, sich mitzuteilen und zu lieben. Für mich ist alle Kunst eine Kombination dieser beiden Mächte(Leonard Bernstein)

Für mich ist oberstes Gebot des Musikmachens stets Emotion und Leidenschaft gewesen. Ich will aber nicht einfach so dahin musizieren, sondern auf der Basis von grösstmöglichem Wissen.   (Nikolaus Harnoncourt)

Große Werke ganz begreifen hieße nicht nur begreifen, wie sie erahnt, entworfen, erfühlt, erdacht und gemacht, sondern auch, wie sie – noch in den vermeintlich absoluten, strukturellen Details – gelebt worden sind(Peter Gülke)

Das Wesen der Musik ist in der Beziehung Ton/Mensch und den Entsprechungen zwischen dieser zeitlichen Struktur des Klanges und der Struktur der menschlichen Affektwelt zu suchen(Sergiu Celibidache)

Die Liebe ist keine Beschränkung, kein Zaun, den ich um mich und andere Menschen ziehe: Sie ist ein Tor, das ich für sie und mich öffne zu einer Welt, die uns interessiert. Liebe ist für mich keine Sicherheit. Sie ist Freiheit.  (Emmanuelle Arsan)

(Foto: privat)

Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs made his international conducting debut in November 2000 in the Moscow Bolshoi Hall with the Russian National Orchestra. Since then he has conducted international orchestras, including the Philharmonia Hungarica, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Czech State Orchestra Ostrava, Sarajevo Symphony Orchestra, and Göttingen Baroque Orchestra. He is also a renowned arranger and editor of music. As a scholar and editorial director of the new Anton Bruckner Urtext Complete Edition, he is acknowledged as a leading authority in Bruckner. Already in 2002 he has perfomed his own critical edition of Bruckner´s completed Ninth Symphony for the Austrian Bruckner-Bund in Gmunden, conducting the Janacek Philharmonic. His new Urtext editions of Bruckner´s Symphonies appear since 2015; its premieres were given by Sir Simon Rattle (N° VII: Berlin Philharmonic, May 2015; N° VI: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, April 2016) and Daniel Harding (N° V: Swedish Radio Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and Berlin Philharmonic, September 2018). His editions of Bruckner´s church music are premiered and recorded by RIAS Kammerchor and Akademie für alte Musik Berlin under Lukasz Borowicz (Missa Solemnis 2017, Requiem 2018; to be continued). His own completed new edition of Schubert´s Unfinished Symphony has also been performed and recorded by Concentus Musicus Wien in 2018.

Ben Cohrs has a particular interest in unknown repertoire of the 19th and 20th Century. Of major concern to him is also to build bridges between theory and practice of music: He frequently conducts workshops concerts, often on Bruckner, with both professional and student orchestras. In September 2013 he conducted the first performance of his new completion of Mozart´s Requiem in Bremen and Dortmund, with the Alsfelder Vocal Ensemble and the Göttingen Baroque Orchestra. He also loves the string orchestra and romantic string music: His 2004 project with his own Simple String Orchestra in Bremen was well received, and in 2016 the Göttingen Baroque Orchestra played under his direction music by Bruckner, Grieg, Respighi, Elgar, Delius, Ravel and Holst on gut strings and in a style appropriate to the time. (A CD release of this is in preparation, as well as a new project in 2020, exclusively dedicated to Bruckner.)

Ben Cohrs made his debut as a conductor in 1984, with the Orchestra of the Youth Music School of his native town, Hameln, where he also received his early musical education (Flute, Piano, Music Theory). At the age of nineteen he founded the Youth String Orchestra of Hameln, which gave concerts under his baton until 1990. Until 1989 he studied conducting privately with the noted Italian composer and conductor Prof. Nicola Samale (Rome); in 1988 he assisted him at the rehearsals of Bruckner´s Ninth with the Polish Radio Orchestra Katowice – his first encounter with a professional orchestra. He also sang in various choirs, in particular at the St. Nicolai Church Hameln and the Dome of Bremen. From 1989 until 1994 he studied concert conducting, voice, and flute at the Highschool of Arts in Bremen. During this time he also conducted various choral and orchestral concerts and visited numerous rehearsals and projects of renowned conductors and orchestras as a guest student. His concert examination in 1994 was recorded and broad-casted by Radio Bremen, including the premiere of his own edition of Martin´s Sonata da Chiesa and the first Bremen performance of Vaughan Williams´ Fifth Symphony. By invitation of Prof. Dr. Andrew D. McCredie, he then studied Musicology at the University of Adelaide, on a full scholarship of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), receiving his postgraduate diploma in 1996. In 2009 he submitted his thesis in historical musicology, and in 2010 received his doctorate (University of Hamburg).

From 1995 to 2010, Cohrs was Co-Editor of the Bruckner Complete Edition in Vienna; there he published, amongst other things, a new critical edition of Bruckner´s Ninth Symphony, its Critical Report and a separate study on its Scherzo. He is also known for his work at the completed performance version of the unfinished Finale of Bruckner´s Ninth in the editorial team of Nicola Samale. His editions for numerous publishers include arrangements of the Sonata da Chiesa by Frank Martin and the Gymnopédies by Erik Satie, for String Orchestra. Cohrs also edited new completed performance editions of Schubert´s Unfinished Symphony D 759, of Mozart´s C minor Mass and Requiem. Since 1987 Cohrs has also presented papers to international musicological conferences and contributed to the daily press, scholarly and popular music magazines, radio stations, websites, concert organizers and record companies, writing interviews, articles, reviews, programme and booklet notes.

CV, Reviews, Photos and more to be found under DOWNLOAD and LINKS.
The audio/video live recording of Mozart´s Requiem (New edition and conducted by B.-G. Cohrs, Dortmund 2013) is available on youtube.

As a conductor, Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs is represented by
IRENE MAYR (e-mail:

(Update: April, 2019)

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