Christoph Eschenbach receives an honorary doctorate from the HfMDK Frankfurt

HfMDK-Präsident Prof. Elmar Fulda überreicht die Urkunde der Ehrendoktorwürde an Christoph Eschenbach
(Foto: Marvin Fuchs)

On February 4, 2024, the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts (HfMDK) awarded Christoph Eschenbach the academic degree of honorary doctorate during a ceremonial concert. In particular, Eschenbach's extraordinary commitment to young artists, the development of talent and the various pedagogical and didactic forms of music education were the reason for the university to honor him. As the highlight of the musical program, students from the HfMDK and Kronberg Academy, under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach, jointly presented Paul Hindemith's Chamber Music No. 1.

Christoph Eschenbach was very touched by the award and the musical collaboration with the young musicians:

» I am deeply honored and moved to receive an honorary doctorate from the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. The university has an outstanding tradition in musical education and culture. I am very proud to be a part of this tradition. Music is a dialog, an exchange of ideas and feelings, and I have learned and received an incredible amount through these interactions, which I am happy to pass on to the next generation. I am delighted that we performed the first chamber music by Paul Hindemith, the city's great son, together with musicians from Kronberg Academy and the HfMDK. This award is not only a personal pleasure, but also a recognition of the importance of music in our lives and our society. «Christoph Eschenbach
Christoph Eschenbach am Rednerpult mit einem Blumenstrauss

The evening began with the String Quartet op. 12 in E flat major by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, presented by the Rarón Quartet. This was followed by inspiring conversations with personal insights into the work of Christoph Eschenbach. He spoke about his life and his artistic positions with Tabea Zimmermann (Professor of Viola and Chamber Music), Elisabeth Tzschentke (Conducting student), Florian Hölscher (Professor of Piano) and Konrad Amrhein (Directing student). Wolfgang Rihm's "Fremde Szene III für Klaviertrio", performed by Trio Hannari, was played between the talks.

In their welcoming addresses, HfMDK President Prof. Elmar Fulda and Raimund Trenkler, founder and chairman of Kronberg Academy, praised Christoph Eschenbach as an outstanding artist of our time. He has put his biographical experiences, the effects and possibilities of music in dialog with each other and actively communicates them to people and the younger generation of artists. His artistic achievement is always an obligation to society, a responsibility for dealing with the musical heritage and the new things that music offers to discover.

Das Ráron Quartett spielt auf der Bühne des Großen Saals
(Foto: Marvin Fuchs)

Christoph Eschenbach is closely associated with the Bachelor's and Master's degree programs run jointly by Kronberg Academy and the HfMDK. In addition to his work as an artistic advisor and lecturer at Kronberg Academy, he is a regular guest of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and has been the Paul Hindemith Prize winner of the city of Hanau since 2016.

On July 10, 2023, the Senate of the HfMDK Frankfurt decided to award Christoph Eschenbach, the musician, conductor, pianist, music researcher, mentor of young musicians and promoter of musical development, the academic degree of an honorary doctorate.

Christoph Eschenbach: A unique artistic path

Christoph Eschenbach (born February 20, 1940 in Wrocław) grew up as a war orphan with his mother's cousin, the pianist Wallydore Eschenbach, in Schleswig-Holstein and Aachen. His lessons with her laid the foundations for a brilliant musical career. After studying with Eliza Hansen (piano) and Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg (conducting), his first prizes as a pianist at the ARD Competition in 1962 and the Concours Clara Haskil in 1965 paved the way for his international career.

Christoph Eschenbach began his musical career as a sensitive concert pianist and at the same time developed into an outstanding conductor with an enormous artistic range. Concerto, opera, chamber music, world premieres, lieder - from J. S. Bach to Romanticism and contemporary music - Eschenbach's impressive repertoire is reflected in his outstanding discography, which has won numerous prizes.

With great openness and curiosity, Christoph Eschenbach has followed a unique artistic path that - even at over 80 years of age - continues to lead to new turns and encounters. He was chief conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin until June 2023. From the 2024/25 season, he will be Artistic Director of the National Music Forum NFM in his native city of Wrocław. Christoph Eschenbach is a Knight of the Légion d'honneur, Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, recipient of the German Federal Cross of Merit and winner of the Leonard Bernstein Prize. in 2015, he was awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize as a pianist and conductor.

Press photos for royalty-free use

HfMDK-Präsident Prof. Elmar Fulda überreicht die Urkunde der Ehrendoktorwürde an Christoph Eschenbach

2024-HfMDK Ehrendoktor Eschenbach 1 (c)MarvinFuchs.jpg

Christoph Eschenbach am Rednerpult mit einem Blumenstrauss

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Christoph Eschenbach gibt dem ersten Geiger des Studierendenensembles die Hand

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Christoph Eschenbach dirigiert das Studierendenensemble

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