The MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra

Today, Germany’s oldest radio orchestra presents itself as one of the liveliest and most innovative in Europe. In addition to its regular presence on the radio, television, and the Web, the orchestra delights a wide public with its concerts in the area served by MDR, and beyond. On a worldwide scale, the orchestra can be heard via the European Broadcasting Union (EBU/ UER), on tour, and at guest performances, most recently in Paris and Vienna. CD recordings of the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra appear on various labels; in addition to MDR Klassik, these currently include Deutsche Grammophon, Naïve, Naxos, Neos, and Sony Classical.

As a successor to inter alia Hermann Abendroth, Herbert Kegel, Wolf-Dieter Hauschild, Fabio Luisi, and Jun Märkl, Kristjan Järvi has since the season 2012/13 been at the head of the orchestra as its principal conductor, broadening its profile through innovative programmatic inspiration. In respect thereof, both were given the European Culture Award in 2013. From the 2014/15 season onward, Kristjan Järvi has been in charge of conceiving the festivals of the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra: at the most different kinds of venues in the City of Leipzig and the area served by MDR, he presents many-faceted, cross-genre repertoire in new formats to interested, inquisitive audiences quick to show their enthusiasm.

CLARA, a project encompassing the territory of the three states served by MDR, is intended to get children and young people interested in – not only classical – music.

The MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra is rooted in the region of Saxony, Sachsen-Anhalt, and Thuringia – i.e. in a region whose musical landscape has been shaped by composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Richard Wagner, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, and Kurt Weill. The MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra makes the innovative spirit of these composers part of our present: the latest in music as well as cross-genre experiments will be included in this, just as spirited performances of the traditional repertoire. Concerts featuring artists such as Anouschka Shankar, Steve Reich, Hauschka, Múm, Julia Fischer, Angelika Kirchschlager, Renaud Capuçon, Patricia Petibon, Alexander Toradze, Sarah Chang, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet reflect the diversity of the orchestra’s repertoire. Renowned conductors have time and again been at the desk of the orchestra; including in the past few years Roger Norrington, Ádám Fischer, Krzysztof Urbański, Tan Dun, Stefan Asbury, James Gaffigan, Markus Stenz, and Santtu-Matias Rouvali. Furthermore the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra has made studio recordings of numerous soundtracks including Tom Tykwer’s movies Cloud Atlas and Hologram for a King, as well as for the film The Boy by Sundance award winner Craig McNeill and for the series Sense 8 by Andy and Lana Wachowski.

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