WDR Sinfonieorchester
Registered as:


WDR Sinfonieorchester

General Information

Year of Foundation:  1947


The WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln was founded in 1947 under the leadership of Karl Böhm, Fritz Busch, Herbert von Karajan, Erich Kleiber, Otto Klemperer, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Georg Solti, Lorin Maazel, and Claudio Abbado. The Orchestra has been particularly influenced by its principal conductors: Christoph von Dohnányi, Zdeněk Mácal, Hiroshi Wakasugi, Gary Bertini 1983-1990), Hans Vonk (1990-97), Semyon Bychkov (1997-2010) and since 2010 Jukka-Pekka Saraste.


The orchestra is famous for its performances on music from the 20th century, a few of the famous composers who have written works for the orchestra include Luciano Berio, Hans Werner Henze, Mauricio Kagel, Krzysztof Penderecki, Igor Strawinski, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Countless concert tours in Europe, America and Asian as well as regular awards for recordings are proof of the success of the orchestra.


(Source: homepage of the orchestra)



  • 2003: "Prix International du Disque" for the complete recording of the symphonies of Dmitri Schostakowitsch under the direction of Rudolf Barschai
  • 2006: ECHO Klassik for the recording of Daphne from Richard Strauss
  • 2010: Disc of the Year from BBC Music Magazine (expert jury und readers of the magazine) for the recording of the Wagner opera Lohengrin
  • 2012: ECHO Klassik 2012, category  "Chorwerk-Einspielung des Jahres (20./21. Jh.)" for the recording of the Requiem from György Ligeti


Discography, Performances, Projects


  • Schumann Symphonie Works Vol. 1
  • Brahms 1. und 3. Sinfonie
  • Müller-Schott: Cello Symphonies
  • Puccini - Suor Angelica
  • Schoenberg - Paellas und Melisande
  • Stravinsky - Der Feuervogel
  • Jukka-Pekka Saraste - Mahler Nr. 9
  • Johannes Moser: Schostakowitsch - Britten
  • WDR 3 Lieblingsstücke
  • Vilde Frang - Sibelius - Prokofiev