Classical orchestras – a grand tradition

There are currently around 50 grand symphony orchestras in Germany – and about as many chamber and youth orchestras. The history of these ensembles goes back decades, if not centuries. Great composers, conductors and soloists have all contributed to the success of Germany's orchestras.

NDR Symphony Orchestra

The NDR Symphony Orchestra, Radio Hamburg's inhouse orchestra, was established in 1945. By 1950 it was making its first guest appearance abroad. Big-name chief conductors such as Klaus Tennstedt, Günter Wand, John Eliot Gardiner, Christoph Eschenbach and Christoph Dohnanyi in turn maintained consistently high standards. The orchestra regularly performs not only in the Laeiszhalle but also at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and in concert series in Lübeck, Kiel and Wismar. Its new home will be the Elbe Philharmonic Hall.

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.

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