The Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin (RSB) dates back to the first hour of musical broadcasting by Deutscher Rundfunk in October 1923. Since then it has been able to develop its position enduringly as one of Berlin's top orchestras, and in the highest echelon of German radio orchestras. In September 2017 Vladimir Jurowski became principal conductor and musical director of the RSB. Marek Janowski was musical director of the RSB before him, from 2002 to 2015, leading it highly successfully in symphonic concerts and concertante opera performances. Previous principal conductors (incl. Sergiu Celibidache, Rolf Kleinert, Heinz Rögner and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos) all helped to create a flexible body of sound sharing in the changing circumstances of 20th century German history in a very special way. Important composers have come to the orchestra’s lectern in person or performed their own works here as soloists: Paul Hindemith, Sergei Prokofiev, Richard Strauss, Arnold Schönberg, Igor Stravinsky, as well as Krzysztof Penderecki, Peter Ruzicka and Jörg Widmann in more recent years.
The RSB is particularly attractive for young conductors from the international music scene. Most recent guests have included Lahav Shani, Jakub Hrůša and Alondra de la Parra and Omer Meir Wellber, and in years past, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Vasily Petrenko and Alain Altinoglu. Frank Strobel regularly directs some exemplary concerts of film music.
Cooperation with Deutschlandradio is extremely productive in regard to CDs. Outstanding examples of such recordings include the concertante Wagner cycle (PENTATONE) and the entire recorded playing of all the symphonies by Hans Werner Henze (WERGO). The orchestra also releases CDs regularly with labels such as capriccio, Orfeo and Sony Classical.
Many musicians of the RSB share their expertise and musical sensitivity through commitment to ambitious concerts and projects for children and young people. For more than 50 years the RSB has also been appearing on important national and international stages. Besides regular tours of Asia, the orchestra makes guest appearances at European festivals and in German centres of music.
As of August 2017