Classical music star Andreas Ottensamer makes his UK conducting debut on Wednesday with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

The 32-year has been the principal clarinettist with the Berliner Philharmoniker since 2011 and has a hugely impressive solo career.

And he is no stranger to the BSO, having been artist-in-residence in 2017-2018.

He remembers his time in Dorset with great fondness - both the music and the kitesurfing.

Speaking to the Echo from Berlin, Andreas said: "It is amazing here to be conducting the full orchestra, an orchestra that is very dear to my heart.”

He said ‘the conducting thing’ had not just happened overnight but had been many years in the making.

"Sometimes people see musicians do this and it comes as surprise but it really isn't.

"It’s definitely not a case of swinging the stick and seeing what comes out. It started a long time ago during the first steps in my career in Vienna and taking conducting courses at university. This is a very conscious step I am taking."

Andreas led the orchestra (play conducting) from the clarinet when he was here previously and describes Wednesday night, a programme of Mozart and Mendelssohn including the Hebrides Overture as "a great leap forward for me."

The global events of the past year and the enforced absence from performing has helped him find the time to focus and concentrating on conducting studies.

Why become a conductor?

"There are many soloists who turn their hand to conducting. You have to have the sense of leadership and wanting to form all the detail of what an orchestra does. Because of the that it is the most intense thing of all."

To say Andreas comes from a distinguished Austro-Hungarian family of musicians is something of an understatement.

He began playing the piano and then the cello, but switched to the clarinet at 14.

His late father, Ernst, was principal clarinet of the Vienna Staatsoper and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. His brother Daniel is now co-principal clarinettist of the Vienna Philharmonic.

In 2005, the father and sons founded the clarinet trio The Clarinotts.

He said: "Vienna is a fantastic place, steeped in musical history. Of course it has had a huge influence on me, a very special place now looking back on things.

The surroundings are wonderful, the beautiful buildings and the sights where you know so so much has happened, Mozart and Beethoven walking the streets. It is really does affect you."

If he appreciates Vienna, the imperial capital, Andreas also appreciated his time with the BSO in Poole.

"Being with such a superb group of musicians of course, but also the beaches, the sea and the green open spaces. The area was mindblowing and every day I went kitesurfing back then."

During this time he performed his own debut performance of Hindemith’s concerto, which was written in the 1940s for the jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman, as well as Weber’s Concertino of 1811.

Returning to the pandemic, he said arts and culture had suffered and had been under tremendous pressure.

"But I do believe we will see a rebirth of the arts. People are going to show their appreciation more as time goes on and understand more about the healing and helping power of music.

"There will be much more positive room for the arts in general when everything reopens around the world. There will be a rebirth."