Artistic Direction

Niels Klein and Ansgar Striepens have been the Bundesjazzorchester’s artistic director team since January 2020. Alongside outstanding guest directors from across the world, they direct the ensemble on a rotating basis. Additionally, they select the guest faculty for each rehearsal period and decide on the ensemble’s future programme.

Prof. Niels Klein

Niels Klein is one of the leading musicians of his generation in the current German jazz scene. He performs at both national and international festivals as a saxophonist and clarinetist. The winner of the 2015 ECHO and the 2011 WDR Jazz Awards, his projects continue to draw significant interest, such as the quartet “Tubes & Wires” and the orchestral project “LOOM”. Klein is a founding member of the Cologne jazz collective KLAENG, which enriches the Cologne jazz scene through numerous events and festivals. Since 2016, Klein has been the Professor for Jazz Saxophone at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, Cologne’s Conservatory for Music and Dance.

Prof. Ansgar Striepens

Over the course of his career, Ansgar Striepens has developed an excellent international reputation as a bandleader, sideman, composer, arranger, conductor, and pedagogue in the realm of European jazz, with roots in both the African-American and European musical traditions. He has released two big band albums and one quintet recording, was a member of Bob Brookmeyer’s “New Art Orchestra”, and has led numerous WDR Big Band productions since 2005 as both arranger and conductor. He is the Professor for Jazz Trombone at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen and the artistic director of Sachsen-Anhalt’s Youth Jazz Orchestra.

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