Munich Philharmonics
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© Munich Philharmonics

Munich Philharmonics

General Information

Year of Foundation:  1893


The Munich Philharmonics was founded in 1893 through the private initiative of Franz Kaim, the son of a piano manufacturer. Since then, the orchestra has left an indelible imprint on Munich's cultural life. Conductors like Hans Winderstein, Hermann Zumpe and the Bruckner pupil Ferdinand Löwe guaranteed both a high technical standard of performance and enthusiastic support of contemporary artistry. Gustav Mahler directed the orchestra in 1901 and 1910 at the respective world premières of his Fourth and Eighth Symphonies. In November of 1911, the orchestra performed the world première of Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde" (The Song of the Earth) under Bruno Walter’s direction - only six months after the composer's death in Vienna. Ferdinand Löwe conducted the first large-scale Bruckner concerts and thereby founded the orchestra's Bruckner tradition, which has continued unbroken to the present day.
The first concert after the Second World War was opened by Eugen Jochum with the overture to Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, whose music had been ostracised during the Nazi era. With Hans Rosbaud, the Philharmonic gained an outstanding leader in the autumn of 1945, a man who passionately advocated modern music. Rosbaud's successor - from 1949 to 1966 - was Fritz Rieger. During the era of Rudolf Kempe, who headed the orchestra from 1967 until his untimely death in 1976, the Philharmonic undertook its first tours to Japan and the former Soviet Union.


In February of 1979, Sergiu Celibidache conducted his first concert series with the Munich Philharmonic and in June of the same year he was appointed General Music Director. The legendary Bruckner concerts made a major contribution to the orchestra’s international standing. From September 1999 until July 2004, James Levine was Chief Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic. In the spring of 2003, the Munich Philharmonic was awarded the prize for the "Best Concert Programming of the 2002/2003 Season" by the Society of German Music Publishers. In January of 2004, the Munich Philharmonic named Zubin Mehta the first "Honorary Conductor" in the history of the orchestra. In May of 2003, Christian Thielemann signed a contract as the next General Music Director and continued the Bruckner tradition as well as the classic romantic repertoire. Highlight from his time include the scenic production of the operas "Der Rosenkavalier" und "Elektra" from Richard Strauss in Baden-Baden. As of the 2012/2103 season, Lorin Maazel assumed the post of Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic. During his tenure the main focus of his work was on extending the repertoire and making the sound more flexible.
Since 2015/16 Valery Gergiev is the Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.


Source: Facebook of the Orchestra, November 2016

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