Dr. Alexander Saier - Founder
Born in Freiburg im Breisgau. as the son of a school principal and a primary school teacher, Saier was familiar with pedagogy from the beginning of his life.
And perhaps for this very reason, Alexander Saier was interested in how leaders, especially teachers, manage to get people to do what is asked of them. That this had to have something to do with body language and posture, he learned as a percussionist in the city music club, later in the school's youth orchestra, then from the state association to the music academy. Saier studied percussion (with timpani as main instrument) with Lukas Lindmeier in Basel and also Markus Wolf in Freiburg.
In 1998, he dropped out of instrumental studies in favour of music education and musicology. Guided by his mentor Prof. Gernot Schulz, solo percussionist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Alexander Saier soon focused on music pedagogy and studied musicology in Berlin, Vienna and Halle (Saale).
In 2002 he was awarded the Carl Orff Prize.
After a short stop as a collaborator of Rainer Cadenbach at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, Alexander Saier began to teach more and more, until he switched completely to teaching in 2008. In 2009 he finished his dissertation with Wolfgang Auhagen and Sebastian Klotz in Halle an der Saale with distinction and started to build up a music department at the Freie Schule Anne Sophie in Berlin for the Würth Foundation.
There he developed project “Jugend Dirigiert." Since that time, Saier's passion has been working with and for children. In 2021, he was awarded the newly created prize with the Humanismusstiftung "Jugend gestaltet Zukunft” (Humanism Foundation “Youth Shape the Future.”)
Christian Standridge - Orchestra Manager
It was not until the age of 16 that Christian Standridge began his musical studies with Karen Basrak (now a cellist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra).
After playing cello for only four years, he entered the Cleveland Institute of Music on a scholarship, where he earned his Bachelor's degree with Merry Peckham. After graduation, he moved to Berlin where he is currently studying with Martin Löhr, principal cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Christian Standridge has also ben principal cellist with the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin, the Berlin Opera Academy, the Cleveland Opera Theater, the National Orchestral Institute.
Christian is fluent in many foreign languages, enjoys traveling and reading scholary journals.
This passion introduced him to Dr. phil. Alexander Saier, formerly a research assistant at the UDK in Berlin.
Christian Standridge has worked sporadically since 2018 and regularly since 2021 with Saier's initiative "Jugend Dirigiert".
In 2022, Dr. Saier appointed him first solo cellist and orchestra manager, as well as artiistic coordinator at the Hauptstadt-Sinfonieorchester and the "Jugend dirigiert"- initiative.
Franziska Scheffter - Social Media Manager / Public Relations / Accounting
Born in Berlin and raised in the state of Brandenburg. Franziska discovered her passion for sports - especially dressage riding - as a child. She came to “Jugend Dirigiert” through Alexander Saier and was immediately fascinated by the parallels between the world of conducting and the world of riding. It is the "non-verbal" communication between horse and man as well as conductor and orchestra that sets the decisive pace. Scheffter, who studied communications management and trained as an industrial clerk (BSP - Business & Law School), has been working for “Jugend Dirigiert” for six years now and is responsible for online marketing and general back office, among other duties. Scheffter worked in the fashion industry during her school and university years and developed her creative eye during that time, making her the perfect person for all questions regarding corporate design.