Teodor Currentzis, one of the world’s most sought-after conductors, has been chief conductor of the SWR Symphony Orchestra since the beginning of the 2018/19 season. The SWR Symphony Orchestra was created through the merging of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg in September 2016, blending these two ensembles’ distinguished lines of musical tradition.
Since its foundation in 1945–6, the history of the orchestras of SWR has been formed by its distinguished principal conductors, including Hans Rosbaud, Ernest Bour, Michael Gielen, Sylvain Cambreling and François-Xavier Roth in Baden-Baden and Freiburg, and Hans Müller-Kray, Sergiu Celibidache, Neville Marriner, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Georges Prêtre, Roger Norrington and Stéphane Denève in Stuttgart. The profile of the SWR Symphony Orchestra comprises new music, the symphonic repertoire of former times and fresh interpretative approaches to historically informed performance practice. Making demanding music attractive to all ages is also a crucial objective.
World-class conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach, Herbert Blomstedt, David Zinman, Péter Eötvös, Roger Norrington, Ingo Metzmacher, Kent Nagano, Eliahu Inbal, Michael Sanderling, Jakub Hrůša and Pablo Heras-Casado are regular guests of the SWR Symphony Orchestra. Premier soloists who appear with the Orchestra include Tzimon Barto, Gil Shaham, Antoine Tamestit and Nicolas Altstaedt, who were artists in residence during the Orchestra’s first few seasons, as well as Hilary Hahn, Fazıl Say, Julia Fischer, Mischa Maisky, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Martin Grubinger, Renaud Capuçon and Janine Jansen.
As well as its numerous performances in the SWR’s own series in Stuttgart, Freiburg and Mannheim, the Orchestra appears at the Donaueschingen Festival for New Music and the Schwetzingen Festival. The SWR Symphony Orchestra has also performed regularly at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, as well as at the Salzburg Festival, the Baden-Baden Whitsun Festival, in Vienna, London, Madrid, Munich, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Dortmund, Warsaw, Essen, Basel, Frankfurt and Tallinn, at the Rheingau Music Festival, the Heidelberg Spring Festival, the Eight Bridges Festival, Music for Cologne, and the Berlin Musikfest, as well as on tour in China.