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.

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.

MDR Symphony Orchestra

The orchestra was established in 1923 and began working with the recently launched local radio station the following year. In 1946 it became the MDR Radio Orchestra, one of whose functions was to play for the former East Germany's DEFA films. The orchestra has enjoyed a glittering history, performing premieres of works by Weill, Dessau, Penderecki and Stockhausen and receiving numerous awards for its recordings. Today the MDR Symphony Orchestra can be heard at the Gewandhaus concert hall, the MDR Summer of Music and around the city of Leipzig.

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