Questionnaire: Annette Josef

Philharmonic orchestra or brass band music, Mrs. Josef?

Munich is shaped by extraordinary women. In our questionnaire we would like to introduce a few of them. This time: Annette Josef. As managing artistic director, she has been leading the Munich Symphony Orchestra on its way since 2013. She herself plays the bassoon.

Were you born in Munich or did you move here?
I moved here from North Hesse, originally to study here. My family now think I come from Munich. When I go back to Hesse, all I hear is: You speak so Bavarian. It's the other way around in Munich.

In which district are you at home?
I've been living in Obergiesing for 12 years and I really like it there. It's a district that is open to change, and it is both a manageable size but with good connections.

What does Munich taste like?
Diverse, international, experimental, down-to-earth, good. There's a great range of good places to eat, although it doesn't come close to Hamburg.

What does Munich sound like?
Like the Munich Symphony Orchestra of course! It's with good reason that we claim to be "The Sound of the City"!

What does Munich smell like?
Like the Isar – a clear, fast-flowing body of water that never stops. Like a fruit stall, of which there are so many in the city. And like coffee. I'm passionate about going to coffee houses.

Munich is the only city where ...
… you can walk through the centre in half an hour. There's no other big city where you can do that.

Which Munich lady should everyone know?
Sophie Scholl (1921-1943) impresses me. Right up to the end, she maintained her opposition to National Socialism; resisting the regime had dreadful consequences for her.

Your favourite Bavarian word?
I like "Schmarrn" (in the broadest sense of the word: nonsense, mischief). It's one of those words that doesn't really translate, but it sums up the Bavarian attitude to life.

The most attractive building in the city?
The Amalienburg im Nymphenburg Palace park is like a small weekend cottage in the forest: a grandiose private home.

The catchiest Munich song?
"Mia san ned nur mia" by Dreiviertelblut. The band wrote the song in response to protests against the anti-Islamic 'Pegida' demonstrations, the socio-political reference goes way beyond that. It’s remarkable how much content is conveyed with such grandeur.

Isar or Eisbach?
Isar! First of all because it's so close, and secondly because I can have both there: I can have company or I can be on my own.

Beer garden or bar?
There's the right time for everything. Following a cultural experience or a good meal out, it's nice to have a nightcap in a bar. If you want to while away an afternoon or evening with friends, a beer garden is best.

Philharmonic orchestra or brass band music?
I like to listen to brass band music if I'm in a beer garden. Otherwise, I prefer the Philharmonic.

A weekend in the mountains or by the lake?
I actually really like both. But: My day is packed with appointments so I rarely make it out to the mountains. The nearest lake is easier and quicker for me to get to.

The best place in Munich to impress visitors?
The Max-Joseph-Platz flaunts itself unrelentingly. Nowhere better defines this typical feeling of "Mir san mir", or "We are who we are".

What is the best place in Munich for an after-work beer?
The beer garden at the Hofbräukeller on the Wiener Platz is good, combined with a walk along the Isar. You can always find a space there, and everyone piles into the pub if there's ever a storm.

The best place in Munich for a romantic date?
In the northern part of the Englischer Garten (English Garden), two of you can be alone together.

The best place in Munich to think?
I like the Kabinettsgarten at the Residenz. It's in the middle of the city, but away from the hustle and bustle.

The best place in Munich for music lovers?
For me personally it has to be the Hercules Hall at the Residenz because of its wonderful acoustics.

The best place in Munich to experience culture?
I personally really like the cultural centre at the Giesing Station; it offers a relaxed programme of films, performances, music and dance.

The best place in Munich if you are longing for Italy?
Max Trenta: an excellent, affordable Italian restaurant. The inner courtyard in the summer feels like you're in Italy.

Without Women Nothing Works

A tour not only for women! Learn more about the famous and less famous women of Munich during a walking tour. Read more


Photos: Marco Borggreve, Redline Enterprises, Frank Stolle, Jörg Lutz


Holidays in Munich are finally possible again! Hotels and guesthouses can welcome guests again, museums and galleries are open, guided tours are possible, and gastronomy is allowed to serve guests inside and outside. Strict hygiene regulations apply to all attractions and service providers. All important information about the coronavirus and your stay in Munich can be found here. See you soon in Munich!