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Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra

About Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra

The Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra of Baden-Baden and Freiburg was founded in 1946 and merged with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2016. The ensemble is now known as the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra. In the seventy years of its existence, the orchestra has gained a reputation far beyond the borders of its broadcasting area for its interest in experimentation and its engagement with the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. This is especially connected to the orchestra’s continuous association since 1950 with the Donaueschingen Festival and the more than 500 compositions it has premiered there by composers such as Hans Werner Henze, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Olivier Messiaen, Helmut Lachenmann, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Wolfgang Rihm. Since its foundation, the orchestra has been associated with international conductors and soloists.

The orchestra has recorded more than 600 works from three centuries and has received numerous awards. In 2014 alone, the orchestra received the German Recording Critics’ Award “for its service to a vital contemporary musical culture”, the Special Achievement Award of the International Classical Music Awards, and the ECHO Klassik prize as Orchestra of the Year for its recording of Hans Zender’s  "Logos-Fragmente". In 2015, the orchestra was nominated for a Grammy Award for its CD of Arnold Schoenberg’s unfinished opera, "Moses and Aron". The orchestra has been shaped by a long line of distinguished principal conductors such as Hans Rosbaud, Ernest Bour, Kazimierz Kord, Michael Gielen, Sylvain Cambreling, and Francois-Xavier Roth, who in 2011 became the last principal conductor of the orchestra in its original formation.