German Symphony Orchestra Berlin
The German Symphony Orchestra Berlin was founded in 1946 as the radio orchestra of RIAS, a West Berlin broadcasting station. It was financed by the USA until 1953 and from 1956 it also worked with Radio Free Berlin. The orchestra's first chief conductor, the Austrian Ferenc Fricsay, laid the foundations for the orchestra's very contemporary repertoire. Performing mainly in the Berlin Philharmonie, the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin has premiered works by many composers including György Ligeti and John Adams.
Hessen Radio Symphony Orchestra
The Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, which later became the Hessen Radio Symphony Orchestra, was established in 1929. Even in the early days, it was strongly committed to contemporary music, giving the first performance of works by Hindemith, Weill, Schoenberg, Strauss and Bartók, and resolutely continuing this tradition after the Second World War. Thanks to the orchestra's long-serving chief conductor Eliahu Inbal and his current successor Paavo Järvi, the music of Bruckner and Mahler has also been given great prominence in Frankfurt.
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is both the world's largest professional orchestra and Germany's oldest orchestra with civic rather than royal origins. It has performed with greats such as Mozart, Chopin, Schumann and Wagner, and premiered many symphonic works by composers from Beethoven to Schnittke. The orchestra's current kapellmeister , its 19th since the post was introduced in 1781, is the Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly.
Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
The history of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra dates back to 1945, when the then American-run Stuttgart Radio acquired its own orchestra. In addition to high-calibre chief conductors such as Sergiu Celibidache, Sir Neville Marriner and Sir Roger Norrington, there have been many famous guest conductors including the composers Stravinsky, Boulez and Penderecki. The Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra regularly performs at the Schwetzingen Festival and has frequently travelled to Asia, its 2010 tour being its ninth visit.