Staatskapelle Dresden Orchestra Tour Comes to Chicago, DC, NYC, April 2013
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by BWW News Desk
Founded in 1548, the Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili joins the orchestra and its new Principal Conductor Christian Thielemann for 4 Guest Concerts in the US: Chicago (4/14, Brahms Progrm), Washington (4/16, Brahms Program), and 2 at Carnegie Hall (4/17-Brahms Program+4/19- BrucknerNo.8).
On 22nd September 2008 the Staatskapelle Dresden celebrated its 460th jubilee. Founded by Prince Elector Moritz von Sachsen in 1548, it is one of the oldest orchestras in the world and steeped in tradition. Over its long history many distinguished conductors and internationally celebrated instrumentalists have left their mark on this one-time court orchestra.
Previous directors include Heinrich Schütz, Johann Adolf Hasse, Carl Maria von Weber and Richard Wagner, who called the ensemble his »miraculous harp«. The list of prominent conductors of the last 100 years includes Ernst von Schuch, Fritz Reiner, Fritz Busch, Karl Böhm, Joseph Keilberth, Rudolf Kempe, Otmar Suitner, Kurt Sanderling, Herbert Blomstedt and Giuseppe Sinopoli. The orchestra was directed by Bernard Haitink from 2002-2004 and most recently by Fabio Luisi from 2007-2010. Christian Thielemann began the post of Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle in the 2012/2013 season. Sir Colin Davis has been the orchestra's Conductor Laureate since 1990. The upcoming season also sees the introduction of the new position of Principal Guest Conductor, whose first holder will be Myung-Whun Chung.
Richard Strauss and the Staatskapelle were closely linked for more than sixty years. Nine of the composer's operas were premiered in Dresden, including »Salome«, »Elektra« and »Der Rosenkavalier«, while Strauss's »Alpine Symphony« was dedicated to the orchestra.
Countless other famous composers have written works either dedicated to the orchestra or first performed in Dresden. In 2007 the Staatskapelle reaffirmed this tradition by introducing the annual position of »Capell-Compositeur«, successively held by composers Isabel Mundry, Bernhard Lang, Rebecca Saunders, Johannes Maria Staud and Lera Auerbach. The Capell-Compositeur for the 2012/2013 season is Hans Werner Henze.
The Staatskapelle's home is the Semperoper, where it performs around 260 operas and ballets each season. In addition the ensemble presents another 50 symphonic and chamber concerts in the opera house, as well as playing at various musical events in Dresden's Frauenkirche. As one of the world's most celebrated and popular symphony orchestras, the Staatskapelle regularly travels abroad to the world's leading classical venues.
From 2013 the Staastskapelle Dresden will be the resident orchestra of the Salzburg Easter Festival, whose artistic director will be no other than Christian Thielemann.
The Staatskapelle also does valuable work to support the local region: Since October 2008 it has been the patron orchestra of Meetingpoint Music Messiaen in the double city of Görlitz-Zgorzelec. And in September 2010 the orchestra helped found the International Shostakovich Festival in Gohrisch (Saxon Switzerland), which is the only such annual event dedicated to the music and life of Dmitri Shostakovich.
At a ceremony in Brussels in 2007 the Staatskapelle became the first - and so far only - orchestra to be awarded the »European Prize for the Preservation of the World's Musical Heritage«.
Volkswagen's Transparent Factory has been a partner of the Staatskapelle Dresden since 2008.
Christian Thielemann, Principal conductor: Born in Berlin, Christian Thielemann comes from a family of music-lovers. He began his professional career in 1978 as a rehearsal pianist at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. Following positions in Gelsenkirchen, Karlsruhe and Hanover he joined the conducting staff of the Rhine Opera in Dusseldorf in 1985. Three years later he moved to Nuremberg to become Germany's youngest music director, before returning to the Deutsche Oper in Berlin in 1997, holding the position of music director there for seven years. Thielemann conducted the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra from 2004 to 2011. In the summer of 2012 he took up the baton as Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden.
Christian Thielemann's repertoire is extensive, ranging from Bach to Henze and Gubaidulina. His interpretations of German romantic music, both in opera and on the concert stage, are regarded around the world as exemplary. Since his Bayreuth debut in the summer of 2000 (»Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg«), his annual appearances have set new standards in conducting. He has been musical advisor to the Bayreuth Festival since 2010. At the Salzburg Festival of 2011 Thielemann directed a new, highly acclaimed production of »Die Frau ohne Schatten« by Richard Strauss.
His lengthy discography with Deutsche Grammophon encompasses numerous symphonic works and operas. Together with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra he has recorded a complete cycle of Beethoven's symphonies, released both on CD and DVD. To date his recordings with the Staatskapelle include Bruckner's Eighth Symphony, Beethoven's »Missa solemnis«, the ZDF New Year's Eve Concerts of 2010 and 2011, »Faust« compositions by Wagner and Liszt, as well as Brahms's First Piano Concerto performed by Maurizio Pollini.
Beginning in 2013 Christian Thielemann will assume the position of Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival, while the Staatskapelle Dresden will become the festival orchestra.
Made an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2011, he has also been awarded honorary doctorates by the Franz Liszt College of Music in Weimar and the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).