Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO)
The Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO) was awarded a Grammy Award in 2011. For 65 years, it has distinguished itself as one of Germany’s leading orchestras. The number of renowned Principal Conductors, the scope and variety of its work, and its particular emphasis on modern and contemporary music, makes the ensemble unique.


The orchestra was founded in 1946 as the RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester by the broadcasting station in the American sector of Berlin. Ferenc Fricsay became the    orchestra’s first Principal Conductor. He set the standard and defined the orchestra’s repertoire. The orchestra’s sound was characterized by transparency, structural clarity and plasticity. It quickly became well known for its commitment to 20th century music, and its ability to attract first-rate conductors.


In 1964, the young Lorin Maazel took on the artistic responsibility for the orchestra. He was followed by Riccardo Chailly in 1982 and by Vladimir Ashkenazy in 1989, who remained Principal Conductor until 1999. The start of Ashkenazy’s tenure coincided with a significant moment in German history – the fall of the Berlin wall and the reunification of East and West. In 1993, to avoid confusion in Berlin’s newly reunited cultural landscape, the orchestra decided to relinquish its familiar name in favour of its present one – Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.   


Kent Nagano has been the deciding influential figure as the orchestra moved into the new century. Nagano was named Principal Conductor and Artistic Director at the beginning of the 2000|2001 season. The unique partnership that quickly developed between orchestra and conductor has been met with enthusiasm by audiences and critics alike. Nagano remained in his position until 2006 and now serves as the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate.


In September 2007 Ingo Metzmacher became Music Director of the DSO. With his innovative concert programming and strong commitment to 20th century music as well as thematic focal points Metzmacher made an important impact on Berlin’s cultural scene. Ingo Metzmacher and the DSO presented the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s opera ›Dionysos‹ at the 2010 Salzburg Festival and appeared at the BBC Proms in London at the end of his tenure with the orchestra.   


In September 2010, Tugan Sokhiev signed his contract as DSO’s Music Director, initially for a period of four years. He has already held the title of Music Director Designate since the beginning of the 2010|11 season. The Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO) and its history have become emblematic of the democratic and cultural renewal of Germany following the defeat of National Socialism and the end of World War II. That is how the orchestra has been perceived at its concerts in Berlin and on tours throughout Germany and the rest of Europe, North and South America, and in the Near, Middle and Far East. Its groundbreaking radio and recording productions have further solidified this image.

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Morton Feldman: Feldman Edition 11  “Orchestra” (mode 238)