|Staatskapelle Dresden with Christian Thielemann, Germany, 2015|
Tour Dates: 27 February - 28 February, 2015
On 22nd September 2008 the Staatskapelle Dresden celebrated its 460th jubilee.
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. Principal Conductor since the 2012/2013 season has been Christian Thielemann. The first and only Conductor Laureate in the history of the Staatskapelle, from 1990 until his death in April 2013, was Sir Colin Davis. Myung-Whun Chung has been Principal Guest Conductor since the 2012/2013 season.
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«. Following on from Hans Werner Henze and Wolfgang Rihm, Sofia Gubaidulina will hold this title for the 2014/2015 season.
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 Staatskapelle Dresden is the resident orchestra of the Salzburg Easter Festival, whose Artistic Director is none 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 Gorlitz- 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.
Conductor : Christian Thielemann
Brahms and Bruckner cycles, tours to Asia, the USA and through Europe, the debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival as well as numerous concerts and opera performances featuring works by those two local gods, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss – Christian Thielemann’s first two seasons as Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle have seen a whirlwind of activity.
Thielemann 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 Generalmusikdirektor before returning to the Deutsche Oper in his hometown of Berlin in 1997, holding the position of Music Director for seven years. More recently Thielemann led the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra from 2004 to 2011. In addition to his current position in Dresden, Thielemann was appointed Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival in 2013, the same year in which the Staatskapelle became the festival’s resident orchestra.
Christian Thielemann maintains close links with both the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras. He has also been a leading light at the Bayreuth Festival since his debut there in the summer of 2000 with Wagner’s »Meistersinger«, returning year after year to thrill audiences with benchmark interpretations. Since 2010 he has also been Musical Advisor to the festival. Thielemann is a popular guest at the Salzburg Summer Festival. For his work on Strauss’s »Die Frau ohne Schatten« at the 2011 festival he was voted »Conductor of the Year« by »Opernwelt« magazine.
In great demand as a versatile concert conductor, he has collaborated with the top orchestras of Amsterdam, London, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, as well as performing in Israel, Japan and China.
As a UNITEL exclusive artist, Christian Thielemann has a comprehensive catalogue of recordings. In addition to the New Year’s Eve Concerts from 2010 to 2013, he and the Staatskapelle have already recorded numerous symphonic works by Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, Bruckner, Reger, Pfitzner and Busoni as well as »Ariadne auf Naxos« by Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner’s »Parsifal« for CD and DVD. Their most recent release is a complete cycle of Brahms’ symphonies. Together with the Vienna Philharmonic he has recorded all of Beethoven’s symphonies for CD and DVD.
Christian Thielemann is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds honorary doctorates from the Franz Liszt College of Music in Weimar and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
"The orchestra’s German title, Saechsische Staatskappelle Dresdener, reflects its foundation in the 16th century by a Saxon prince, but it is the glorious glow of their sound that announces their remarkable heritage."
- The Guardian