The Dresden Philharmonic looks back on a 150-year-tradition as the orchestra of Saxony’s capital Dresden. Ever since 1870, when Dresden was provided with its first large concert hall, its symphony concerts have been an integral part of the city’s cultural life. The Dresden Philharmonic has remained a concert orchestra to this day, with regular excursions into concert performance and oratorio. Its homestead is the state-of-the-art concert hall inaugurated in April 2017 in the Kulturpalast at the heart of the historic district. The principal conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic since 2011 is Michael Sanderling. Besides Kurt Masur, principal conductor in the years 1967–1972, his predecessors have also included Paul van Kempen, Carl Schuricht, Heinz Bongartz, Herbert Kegel, Marek Janowski and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, amongst others. The musical and stylistic bandwidth of the Dresden Philharmonic is great. On the one side, the orchestra has managed to preserve its very own “Dresden sound” in the romantic repertoire. On the other, it has developed a tonal and stylistic flexibility for the music of the Baroque and First Viennese School as much as for modern works. Important composers have also taken to its conductor’s desk from early on, from Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Dvořák via Strauss through to Penderecki and Holliger. World premieres continue to play an important part in the programme to this day. Guest performances around the world attest to the high esteem enjoyed by the Dresden Philharmonic in the world of classical music. The programme is rounded off by educational and family formats featuring high-class musicians; the youngest concertgoers are introduced to the world of classical music through public rehearsals and school concerts. The orchestra promotes top young musicians in the Kurt Masur Academy, which welcomed its first year last season.
The Dresden Philharmonic’s discography, which has grown since 1937, also testifies to its broad repertoire. A new CD cycle conducted by Michael Sanderling and released by Sony Classical is dedicated to all the symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich and Ludwig van Beethoven.