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.
The DSO was founded in 1946 in the American sector of Berlin as RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester. As its first principal conductor, from 1948, Ferenc Fricsay established the orchestra’s future course: commitment to contemporary and suppressed music, stylish interpretation of the traditional repertoire and openness to the opportunities offered by new media. Following Fricsay’s early death in 1963, the 34-year-old Lorin Maazel assumed directorship of the orchestra – by then renamed Radio-Symphonie Orchester Berlin (RSO). (RIAS had been joined in 1956 by SFB [Sender Freies Berlin | Radio Free Berlin] in governing the ensemble.) In 1982, after a few years without a Music Director, the orchestra named Riccardo Chailly, aged only 29, as Maazel’s successor.
To avoid confusion within the complex cultural scene of reunited Berlin, in 1993 the orchestra relinquished its well-established name in favour of Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. In the persons of Vladimir Ashkenazy (1989-99), Kent Nagano (2000-06) and Ingo Metzmacher (2007-10), it engaged artistic directors whose many years of experience were allied to interpretative ambition and innovative spirit. Ashkenazy’s impact was made above all through his high musical profile, Nagano’s by combining creative programming and the integration of contemporary music with refinement of the orchestra’s tonal culture. Metzmacher made his special mark with the Casual Concerts that he conducted and moderated as well as through seasonal thematic focuses that raised questions of fundamental significance through music.
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin is an ensemble of Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre Gmbh (roc berlin), whose shareholders include Deutschlandradio (40%), the Federal Republic of Germany (35%), the State of Berlin (20%) and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (5%).
|company||Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin|
|Address||Masurenallee 16 - 20, 14057 Berlin|
|telephone||030. 20 29 87 530|
|fax||030. 20 29 87 539|