SWR Sinfonieorchester, Germany, 2019

Tour Dates: 16th May - 24th May, 2019

The SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart is the outcome of the merger of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR) and the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg in September 2016.

Tour Dates
  • 16th May - 24th May, 2019

Tour Information:

17th May, 20:00, Shenzhen Concert Hall | Click for tickets
18th May, 19:30, Shanghai Symphony Hall | Click for tickets
19th May, 18:00, Chenshan Botanical Garden | Click for tickets
21st May, 19:30, Wuhan Qintai Concert Hall | Click for tickets
23rd May, 19:30, Shanxi Poly Grand Theatre | Click for tickets

SWR Sinfonieorchester

The SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart is the outcome of the merger of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR) and the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg in September 2016. Although the SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart is still relatively new, it has already made music history. Distinguished lines of musical traditions of its two predecessors blend with each other. From summer 2018 onwards Teodor Currentzis will be the Chief Conductor of the SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart.

Since their foundation in 1945/46, high-profiled principle conductors have shaped their young orchestras: In Baden-Baden/Freiburg Hans Rosbaud, Ernest Bour, Michael Gielen, Sylvain Cambreling and François-Xavier Roth; in Stuttgart Hans Müller-Kray, Sergiu Celibidache, Sir Neville Marriner, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Georges Prêtre, Sir Roger Norrington and Stéphane Denève have all worked with the south-west German institutions.

The profile of the SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart comprises New Music, the symphonic orchestral literature of bygone eras as well as interpretative approaches of the historically informed performance practice. Conveying demanding music to all ages and audiences is also an important objective.

World-class conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach, David Zinman, Peter Eötvös, Ingo Metzmacher, Philippe Herreweghe, David Afkham and Jakub Hrůša have worked with the SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart. In the season 2017/18 Teodor Currentzis, Herbert Blomstedt, Omer Meir Wellber and Osmo Vänskä will broaden the range. Tzimon Barto, Gil Shaham, Matthias Goerne, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Martin Grubinger, Renaud Capuçon, Mojca Erdmann, Thomas Zehetmair, Fazil Say and Julia Fischer are among the top-class soloists who perform with the SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart.

Apart from many performances in SWR’s own series of concerts in Stuttgart, Freiburg and Mannheim, the SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart appears at the Donaueschingen Festival for New Music and the Schwetzingen Festival. The SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart was invited to concerts in Madrid, Munich, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Basle, Tallinn, Tampere and Warsaw, the Rheingau Music Festival, the Heidelberger Frühling and the Festival Acht Brücken in Cologne. Highlights of the season 2017/18 include performances at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Music Festival Berlin; guest appearances in Salzburg, Antwerp, Essen and Vaduz as well as a multi-day residency at the Konzerthaus Dortmund.

Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach

Born in Breslau , Germany (today Wroclaw, Poland), Christoph Eschenbach studied piano with Professor Eliza Hansen and won in his young age numerous piano competitions. In 1965 the first prize of the Clara Haskil competition in Luzern was the original event of his soloist carrier. In demand worldwide by famous concert halls and orchestras, he met George Szell who invited him to tour with the Cleveland orchestra. In the same period Christoph Eschenbach developed a great artistic collaboration with Herbert von Karajan as well.

Successful conducting studies passed in Hamburg and the influence of Szell and Karajan, the two mentors, naturally led him to initiate his carrier as a conductor. He began in 1972, and made his debut in the USA in 1975 with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

Nowadays Christoph Eschenbach is in demand as a distinguished guest conductor with the finest orchestras and opera houses throughout the world (Vienna, Berlin, Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Shanghai, Rome, Milan, Dresden, Leipzig, Münich, Amsterdam, etc.) as well as prestigious festivals (Salzbourg, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Saint Petersbourg, Granada, Rheingau, Schleswig Holstein, ect.).
His grand classic repertoire is ranging from J.S. Bach to music of our time and reflects his commitment to not just canonical works but also to the music of the late-­20th and early-­21st-­century.

In the field of opera, he has conducted Cosi fan tutte at Covent Garden in 1984 and at the Houston Opera, as well as the Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, Der Rosenkavalier, Lohengrin, Parsifal (staged by Robert Wilson), Salome and Elektra, (staged by Andrei Serban), Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival and at the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg. In November 2001, Arabella at the New York Metropolitan and Don Giovanni (staged by Peter Stein) in 2004 for the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Lyric Opera. During the 2005/2006 season, he has conducted at the Théâtre du Châtelet a production of Wagner’s Ring des Nibelung, staged by Robert Wilson. In December 2010 he has conducted with great success Mathis der Maler by Paul Hindemith at the Opera Paris Bastille. More recently, he inaugurated the Mozart / Da Ponte cycle at the Salzburg Summer Festival with Cosi fan tutte in 2013 and Don Giovanni in 2014. That same season, he has also conducted Idomeneo at the Vienna State Opera.

Christoph Eschenbach has been the Music Director of the Tonhalle-­Gesellschaft in Zurich from 1982 to 1986, of the Houston Symphony Orchestra from 1988 to 1999 and of the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg from 1998 to 2004. After ten years as Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris from September 2000 to August 2010, and four years for the Philadelphia Orchestra, from September 2003 to 2008, he became in September 2010 Music Director of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well as the Washington National Symphony. To his important discography as a pianist should be added numerous recordings at the head of the Houston Symphonic Orchestra, the Hamburg NDR Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra (Tchaïkovski, Mahler, Saint-­Saëns, Bartok), the Orchestre de Paris with Berlioz, Bruckner, Dusapin, Berio, Ravel, Dalbavie, Zemlinsky, Roussel (the complete symphonies), Beethoven (the Piano Concertos n. 1 and 4, nominated for the 2009 Grammy Awards) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Bruckner, Symphony n. 6, Beethoven, Missa Solemnis, Messiaen, Des Canyons aux Etoiles). The Complete Symphonies by Mahler recorded with the Orchestre de Paris is watchable in streaming on his website. His last recording with the Washington NSO was issued for the 50th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center. After the recent release of Die schöne Müllerin, the Schwanengesang and the Winterreise recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Christoph Eschenbach and Matthias Goerne are continuing their fructuous collaboration and regularly perform in recitals of voice and piano, presenting the cycles of Lieder by Schubert, Brahms and Schumann.

For Christoph Eschenbach, to transmit and to discover are fundamental activities, this is why he regularly holds master-­classes (Manhattan School of Music, Kronberg Academy, CNSM of Paris) and collaborates with summer academies and youth orchestras such as the Schleswig Holstein Academy Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (GMJO), the Curtis Institute...

Christoph Eschenbach has received the 2014 Grammy Award for his recording of works by Hindemith performed with the NDR Symphony Orchestra and the violinist Midori.

He had the honor to be named Chevalier of the French Légion d’Honneur in January 2003, Officer of the National Order of Merit in May 2006 and decorated with the Order of Merit of the Federal Rebublic of Germany. He has been made French Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and has received the Leonard-­Bernstein award of the Pacific Music Festival. In June 2015 he received the Ernst von Siemens music Awards (described as the « Nobel Price for Music ») in honour of his life‘s dedication to music.

Soloist: Ray Chen

Winner of the Queen Elisabeth (2009) and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions (2008), Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. “Ray has proven himself to be a very pure musician with great qualities such as a beautiful youthful tone, vitality and lightness. He has all the skills of a truly musical interpreter”, said the great Maxim Vengerov.

Ray has appeared with some of the leading orchestras around the world including the London Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France where he joined Daniele Gatti for the televised Bastille Day concert in Paris to an audience of over 800,000. Other recent highlights include his 2016 debut at the BBC Proms where he appeared with the BBC Symphony at Royal Albert Hall in London.

In 2017, Ray signed to Decca Classics in a major new recording deal and multimedia partnership. Ray has previously released three critically acclaimed albums on Sony: a recital program “Virtuoso” of works by Bach, Tartini, Franck, and Wieniawski, and the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky concertos with Swedish Radio Orchestra and Daniel Harding. Following the success of these recordings, Ray was profiled by The Strad and Gramophone magazines as “the one to watch”. “Virtuoso” was distinguished with the prestigious ECHO Klassik award. His third recording, an all-Mozart album with Christoph Eschenbach and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, was released in January 2014.

In 2012 he became the youngest soloist ever to perform in the televised Nobel Prize Concert for the Nobel Laureates and the Swedish Royal Family. His Carnegie Hall debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sakari Oramo, as well as his sold-out Musikverein concert with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly were met with standing ovations. Ray was a Junge Wilde artist at the Konzerthaus Dortmund between 2012 and 2015.

Followed by over 2 million people on SoundCloud, Ray Chen looks to expand the classical music audience by increasing its appeal to the young generation via all available social media platforms. In particular his series of quirky, self- made online videos has proven an effective tool in broadening the reach of classical music through humor and education.

He is the first ever classical musician to be invited to write a regular blog about his life as a touring soloist for the largest Italian publishing house, RCS Rizzoli (Corriere della Sera, Gazzetta dello Sport, Max). In his unstinting efforts to break down barriers between classical music, fashion and pop culture, he is supported by Giorgio Armani and was recently featured in Vogue magazine.

Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Ray was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age 15, where he studied with Aaron Rosand and was supported by Young Concert Artists. He plays the 1715 “Joachim” Stradivarius violin on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation. This instrument was once owned by the famed Hungarian violinist, Joseph Joachim (1831-1907).