|Staatskapelle Dresden with Myung-Whun Chung, Germany, 2015|
Tour Dates: 8th - 14th November, 2015
Founded by Prince Elector Moritz von Sachsen in 1548, it is one of the oldest orchestras in the world and steeped in tradition.
Monday, 9th November, 19:30, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Shanghai
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 Schutz, 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 Bohm, 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: Myung-Whun Chung
As Principal Guest Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden, Myung-Whun Chung is one of the most celebrated conductors in the world today. Since 2001 he has regularly collaborated with the Staatskapelle, conducting the orchestra in numerous concerts, opera performances and on tour.
Born in Seoul, he began his musical career as a pianist. In 1979 he became assistant to Carlo Maria Giulini at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Five years later he took up the reins at the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Saarbrucken, subsequently being appointed principal conductor at the Opera Bastille in Paris and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Since 2000 he has been music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. In addition, Myung-Whun Chung actively nurtures classical music in his home country and other parts of Asia; currently he is artistic advisor to the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and music director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
Besides this, he is strongly committed to various humanitarian and ecological projects. Since 2008 he has been a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. As part of the Staatskapelle’s “Chung-Messiaen Project”, Myung-Whun Chung took part in a performance of the “Quartet for the End of Time” by his friend and mentor, Olivier Messiaen, in October 2010. He also conducted the composer’s “Turangalila” Symphony in the Semperoper. The 2012/2013 season sees Chung assume the position of principal guest conductor to the Staatskapelle, thereby securing an even closer collaboration with the orchestra.
"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