Florian Geldsetzer, Violin

“I was first involved with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe during the CD production of Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” with Claudio Abbado in Ferrara, around 1990. I was then regularly invited as an extra player, became a member in 1994, then a guest player again until today.

I learnt the violin from my teachers, but the artistic influence came from taking part in ensembles and youth orchestras from the age of 11, including 3 years in the European Community Youth Orchestra, ECYO.

The COE had the strongest influence: musical and technical homogeneity at the highest level, which is what all the orchestras in which I play have had to measure themselves against. The COE became a musical benchmark.

I have been working as concertmaster in the large symphony and opera orchestras in Duisburg and Essen for 28 years. The most important teacher, although she doesn’t know it, was the concertmaster at the COE, Marieke Blankenstijn: efficient leadership instead of show, she moved when we needed it. “To get lost behind Marieke”: impossible. She exuded stability without rigidity.

I find it very touching on a human level and am grateful that the COE has remained loyal to me for over 35 years. I also see this as a special quality, especially since the opportunities I have had to perform with them are very limited due to my orchestral commitments in Essen. I’m looking forward to the next tour!”


Florian Geldsetzer received his first violin lessons from his mother, switched to Prof. G. Peters at the Cologne University of Music at the age of 12 and completed his studies with distinction with Prof. M. Gaiser in Düsseldorf. He also attended master classes with Rainer Kussmaul and Sergiu Schwarz in New York.

After 15 years of playing in the state, federal and European youth orchestra (ECYO), he became a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) in 1994. This outstanding ensemble appears in all European cultural metropoles, and among the conductors who had the most influence on him were Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Bernard Haitink.

Florian has played the baroque violin in the “Musica Antiqua” ensemble for several years in Cologne under Reinhard Goebel. From 1996 to 2013 he was concertmaster of the Duisburg Philharmonic and Deutsche Oper on the Rhine, and moved to the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra as concertmaster in 2014.

He regularly performs chamber music concerts in and outside the Ruhr area. The in-depth research on the life and work of brothers Fritz and Adolf Busch is an essential part of his artistic work. His contact with Max Reger Institute in Karlsruhe enabled him to give many performances and premieres of important chamber music works by composer Adolf Busch, who had not been heard in Germany for decades. In addition he produced the first available CD recording of his Violin Concerto with the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

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