“I’m really grateful for the chance to do what I do. Sometimes, when I’m lying in bed I think- ‘I have a wonderful job!” These are the words of Jan-Paul Reinke who is clearly passionate about his work.

Jan-Paul Reinke, who is originally from Mannheim, took up the baton with the Mannheim Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2016 after completing his Masters’ in Conducting (orchestra and opera) under Prof. Michael Luig and Prof. Stephan Wehr at the Institute of Higher Education for Music and Dance in Cologne.

In 2013 Reinke was a recipient of the Richard Wagner scholarship. At this time and in the years to follow, he conducted many different orchestras. To mention just a few: Chamber Orchestra of Bonn-Röttgen, University Orchestras of Stuttgart and Cologne, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonic orchestra of South-Westfalia as well as the Kurpfalz Chamber Orchestra. In the last few years (2014-16), Reinke was consolidating his skills at the theatre in Krefeld/Mönchengladbach as a conductor and accompanist in the operatic studio. Since 2017 he is teaching conducting at the University of Music Freiburg and in the following year he started leading the Stamitz-Orchestra Mannheim (SOM). In 2019 he took over the leadership position of the European Youth Orchestra Academy.

During his studies, there was a lot of scope for polishing his abilities conducting both amateur and professional orchestras. As Professor Wehr’s assistant, Jan-Paul Reinke conducted operas and several premieres of works by young composers. He was also keen on working with a youth orchestra and was privileged to have a professor who not only gave him the opportunity to realize this during his degree, but also showed him the value of such an important task.

Jan-Paul Reinke has had experience of being on tour in many European countries. One of his first major tasks as Conductor of Mannheim Youth Symphony Orchestra was taking the orchestra on tour to Australia. This was an immense undertaking with group of about 80 after only a couple of months’ rehearsals. However, the trip was a rousing success and there will surely be more to follow!

Jan-Paul Reinke realizes the unique opportunity he has, to give 80 young people the most amazing and enriching experiences they will remember for the rest of their lives. Capitalizing on those experiences is a key point for him. Despite the inevitable hierarchical structure of an orchestra, members are encouraged to put forward ideas of their own and take on individual responsibility where possible. There are many opportunities that go far beyond playing the notes required. Being part of an orchestra is character-building, helps the youngsters to be assertive and to become team players.

“I treat the orchestra just like any other. The only difference is that I sometimes have to explain things in a slightly different way.”

“I’m very proud of the orchestra. So far everyone who has worked with us, has been inspired by the enthusiastic approach.”