Music manager and concert designer Folkert Uhde, born in 1965, has lived in Berlin and Potsdam since 1987. He grew up in Wilhemshaven on the North Sea coast, surrounded by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and Heinrich Schütz, fitting for the best of traditional Protestant church-music backgrounds. After training as a radio and TV technician, he studied communication studies and musicology at Technische Universität Berlin and, concurrently, Baroque violin at the Academy for Ancient Music in Bremen. He worked as a freelance musician until 1995, the year he went into business as a music and project manager.
Between 1997 and 2012, Folkert Uhde was co-owner of Uhde & Harckensee MusikManagement; from 1997 to 2008 he was manager and dramaturg of the internationally renowned baroque orchestra Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
He initiated, curated and organized several concert series and festivals, among them “zeitfenster – Biennale Alter Musik” (since 2002) in cooperation with Konzerthaus Berlin.
An international coproduction of the opera “Dido & Aeneas” by choreographer Sasha Waltz was the beginning of his cooperation with dramaturg and culture manager Jochen Sandig. In 2006, they founded the venue Radialsystem V, which today is internationally established as a “New Space for the Arts in Berlin”.
Since then, Folkert Uhde has made a name for himself by developing and realising new artistic formats and projects, particularly in the field of classical music in its broadest sense. For television channels ARTE, 3SAT and ZDF.Kultur, he developed and produced film and television productions of classical music. In 2009, he was distinguished as Culture Manager of the Year for his innovative approaches at Radialsystem V.
Since the summer of 2012, he has been on the faculty of the programme “Concerto 21”, which was initiated by the Alfred Töpfer Foundation, Hamburg. In this context, he works towards the artistic development and establishment of young ensembles and soloists. Folkert Uhde teaches concert dramaturgy and creative project development at Friedrichhafen’s Zeppelin University. Since 2012, he has been cooperating with the “Dialogues”-Festival of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation in the capacity of concert designer. Also in 2012, he was appointed artistic director of the long-standing festival “Internationale Orgelwoche Nürnberg – Musica Sacra” for a tenure of four years, beginning in 2013. From 2012–2014, he curated and moderated the concert series “Aufgemischt” for the Nicolaisaal in Potsdam; at the Borusan Music House in Istanbul, he has created a regular Radialsystem V series entitled “New Sounds of Berlin” since 2012.
Together with congress designer Hans-Joachim Gögl, Folkert Uhde was commissioned by the Montforthaus and the city of Feldkirch in Vorarlberg/Austria to develop and carry out a programme of high-profile, reputation-shaping events for this venue for 2015–2017. This series presents innovative formats between music and dialog, entitled “Zwischentöne”, on three weekends per year. In early 2015, Folkert Uhde acceded to the position of artistic director of Köthener Bachfesttage, taking over from Hans-Georg Schäfer, the former director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and long-standing head of the Ansbacher Bachwochen. The next edition of the Köthener Bachtage will take place in September 2016.
Folkert Uhde introduced the concept of “Concert Design”, to define the comprehensive new design of both concert content and procedures as a reaction to the rapidly changing social conditions. This term has gained increasing acceptance within the public discourse about the future of classical music.
As of January 2016