Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Soon after Eugen Jochum founded it in 1949, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra developed into an internationally renowned orchestra. Its fame was continuously expanded and fortified by chief conductors Rafael Kubelík, Colin Davis and Lorin Maazel. Since 2003 Mariss Jansons has set new standards as the Orchestra’s chief conductor.
As well as a repertoire of Classical and Romantic works, the Orchestra has a strong contemporary focus, in conjunction with the musica vivaseries, founded by Karl Amadeus Hartmann in 1945. Right from the start, it was one of the Orchestra’s main assignments, fostering the work of composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Darius Milhaud, as well as, more recently, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricio Kagel, Luciano Berio and Péter Eötvös, many of whom conducted the Orchestra.
Numerous renowned guest conductors have further shaped the artistic profile of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra from its inception, including Erich Kleiber, Carlos Kleiber, Otto Klemperer, Leonard Bernstein, Georg Solti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Kurt Sanderling and, in more recent times, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, Daniel Harding, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Simon Rattle and Andris Nelsons.
As well as many performances in Munich and other German cities, extensive concert tours regularly take the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra to virtually every European country, as well as Asia and North and South America. The Orchestra makes regular appearances at Carnegie Hall and in the renowned concert halls of Japan’s musical capitals. Since 2004 the Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of its current chief conductor Mariss Jansons, has also been the orchestra in residence at the Lucerne Easter Festival.
The Orchestra is particularly committed to encouraging up-and-coming musicians. In conjunction with the ARD International Music Competition, the Symphony Orchestra accompanies young musicians in the final rounds, as well as in the symphonic closing concert that features the prizewinners. Since October 2001 the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Academy has done valuable work in preparing young musicians for their careers, thereby building a bridge between its educational and professional activities. The Symphony Orchestra also maintains a programme with many activities designed to bring the younger generation closer to classical music.
With a high number of CD releases on major labels and, since September 2009, also on Bavarian Broadcasting’s own label, BR-KLASSIK, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra regularly receives national and international awards. In November 2016, the Orchestra’s recording of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, made with Daniel Harding, won the Diapason d’Or. In April 2018 the Orchestra’s recording of Mahler’s Third Symphony with Bernhard Haitink was voted recording of the year by BBC Music Magazine. The same year, its recording of Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony, conducted by Mariss Jansons, received the German Record Critics’ Prize.
Numerous other awards record the Symphony Orchestra’s established position among the world’s leading orchestras, including its concerts in Japan under Zubin Mehta in November 2018, which were awarded first place in the best concerts of 2018 by leading music critics.