Group photo of Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin © Lea Hopp

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin

For more than 70 years, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO Berlin) has distinguished itself as one of Germany’s leading orchestras. The number of renowned music directors, the scope and variety of its work, and its particular emphasis on modern and contemporary music, makes the ensemble unique. Founded as the RIAS Symphony Orchestra in 1946, it was renamed the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin in 1956 and has borne its current name since 1993.

Robin Ticciati has led the DSO as its music director since 2017. In his first two seasons, he has already impressively demonstrated the enormous breadth of his proficiency and the great agreement that has grown up between him and the orchestra. The high points of his second season included a staged version of Georg Friedrich Händel’s “Messiah” in the Berlin Philharmonie and interpretations of Johannes Brahms’s symphonies acclaimed by both the public and the press. In the 2019/20 season, the DSO music director will shift his focus to Antonín Dvořák’s oeuvre, as well as turning increasingly to works by American and contemporary composers.

With its many guest performances, the DSO is present on the national and international music scene. The orchestra has performed in recent years in Brazil and Argentina, in Japan, China, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi and Eastern Europe, as well as at major festivals such as the Rheingau Musik Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms and the Beethoven Festival Bonn. In the 2019-20 season the orchestra conducts an Asia tour with Robin Ticciati, namely a residency in Tokyo and concerts in South Korea and China, followed by other guest appearances, for instance in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and in the Philharmonic Halls of Cologne and Munich.

The DSO also has a global presence with numerous award-winning CD recordings. In 2011, it received the Grammy Award for the premiere recording for the production of Kaija Saariaho’s opera “L’amour de loin” conducted by Kent Nagano. In recent years, Prokofiev recordings under Tugan Sokhiev that were highly praised by the specialised press have been released by Sony Classical. With works by Anton Bruckner, Claude Debussy, Henri Duparc and Gabriel Fauré, Robin Ticciati and the DSO have already presented three highly acclaimed recordings with Linn Records. In September 2019, another recording was released with Debussy’s “Trois nocturnes” and Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem.

Since its inception, the DSO has been able to retain outstanding artist personalities. As the first music director, Ferenc Fricsay defined the standards in terms of repertoire, acoustic ideal and media presence. In 1964, the young Lorin Maazel assumed artistic responsibility. In 1982, he was followed by Riccardo Chailly and in 1989 by Vladimir Askenazy. Kent Nagano was appointed music director in 2000. Since his departure in 2006, he has been associated with the orchestra as an honorary conductor. From 2007 to 2010, as the successor to Nagano, Ingo Metzmacher set decisive accents in the concert life of the capital with progressive programmes and consistent commitment to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. From 2012 to 2016, the Tugan Sokhiev has been music director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

The Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin is an ensemble of the Radio Orchestra and Choirs GmbH (roc berlin). The shareholders are Deutschlandradio, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Berlin and Radio Berlin-Brandenburg.

As of May 2020

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