Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Soon after it was founded by Eugen Jochum in 1949, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks developed into an internationally renowned orchestra, its fame continuously expanded and fortified by its chief conductors Rafael Kubelik, Sir Colin Davis and Lorin Maazel. Since 2003 it is Mariss Jansons setting new standards as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor.
Besides the orchestra’s repertoire of classic and romantic oeuvres a strong focus lays on contemporary works, in conjuction with the “musica viva” series, founded 1945 by Karl Amadeus Hartmann. Right from the start it was one of the main assignments fostering contemporary works of composers like Igor Stravisky, Darius Milhas as well as, more recently Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricia Kagel, Luciano Berio and Peter Eötvös. Many of them stood on the podium themselves.
Many renown guest conductors shaped the artistic profile of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks from its beginning on. Maestri like Erich and Carlos Kleiber, Otto Klemperer, Leonard Berstein, Georg Solti, Maria Giulini, Kurt Sanderling and – in recent times – Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, Daniel Harding, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Simon Rattle and Andris Nelsons.
Besides the many performances in Munich and other German cities extensive concert tours take the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks regularly to virtually every European country, to Asia as well as to North and South America. It makes regular appearances in New York’s Carnegie Hall and in the renowned concert halls in Japan’s musical capitals. Since 2004, the Symphonieorchester under the direction of its current Chief Conductor, Mariss Jansons, is additionally the orchestra in residence at the Easter Festival in Lucerne.
The Orchestra gives special attention to the encouragement of up-and-coming young musicians. In conjunction with the ARD International Music Competition, the Symphonieorchester accompanies young musicians both in the final rounds as well as in the symphonic closing concert featuring the prize winners. Since October of 2001 the Academy of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks has been doing valuable educational work by preparing young musicians for their later careers and thus building a solid bridge between education and professional activity. Beyond this, the Symphonieorchester maintains an encouragement program for young people with many activities designed toward the worthy goal of bringing the younger generation closer together with classical music.
With a high number of CD releases on major labels and - since September of 2009 – also on Bavarian Broadcasting’s own label - BR-KLASSIK, the BRSO obtains regularly national and international awards.
In a number of different surveys of music critics, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks has numbered among the top ten orchestras in the world, most recently in the 2008 orchestra ranking by the British music magazine “Gramophone”, (6th place) and in the Japanese music magazine “Mostly Classic” in 2010 (4th place).
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks
The Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks was founded in 1946. Its artistic advancement has run in close parallel with the growth of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and, since 2003, Mariss Jansons has served as the Chief Conductor of both ensembles, supplemented by Howard Arman, who was appointed Artistic Director of the chorus in 2016. Among the main points of concentration in the chorus’s work are contemporary music as well as its collaborations with such early music ensembles as Concerto Köln and the Akademie für Alte Musik in Berlin.
Thanks to its remarkable stylistic versatility, which covers every area of choral singing from mediæval motets all the way to contemporary works, from oratorio to opera, this ensemble enjoys the highest regard world-wide.
Guest appearances have taken the chorus to Japan as well as to such top European festivals as the ones in Lucerne and Salzburg. Major European orchestras like the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam and the Sächsische Staatskapelle in Dresden hold their collaborations with the BR-Chor in high regard.
The chorus has performed in the past under the direction of such distinguished conductors as Andris Nelsons, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding and Christian Thielemann.
In the BR’s modern music series’, musica viva and Paradisi gloria, as well as in its own subscription concerts, the chorus has regularly set itself apart in the presentation of world premières.
It has been awarded a vast number of prestigious accolades for its CD recordings, among them the ECHO Klassik in 2014 ("Ensemble of the Year"). Most recently, the BR Chor received the 2015 Bayerische Staatspreis für Musik in the category: "professional music making".