Beethoven Orchester Bonn

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Beethoven Orchester Bonn
Symphony orchestra
The Beethovenhalle, the main venue of the orchestra
Former name
  • Städtisches Orchester Bonn
  • Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn
Founded1907 (1907)
LocationBonn, Germany

The Beethoven Orchester Bonn is a German symphony orchestra based in Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia. It dates back to 1907, when a professional orchestra was established. Named for Ludwig van Beethoven, who was born in Bonn, the orchestra's principal concert venue is the Beethovenhalle.


The orchestra dates back to 1907 when the town of Bonn signed a contract with the Philharmonische Orchester Koblenz from Koblenz and its Kapellmeister, to serve Bonn.[1][2] It was the first professional orchestra in Bonn since the court chapel had been dissolved in 1794.[1] It was first named Städtisches Orchester Bonn (Municipal orchestra Bonn),[3] from 1963 Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn (Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn), and from 2003 Beethoven Orchester Bonn.[1][4]

The orchestra suffered in World War I, when its main venue, the old Beethovenhalle, served as a lazaretto, and many players were recruited. The orchestra was dissolved in April 1916, and only reestablished in 1920. During World War II, the hall was damaged by bombing. The new Beethovenhalle was inaugurated in 1959.[4]

The centenary of the orchestra was celebrated on 21 September 2007 as part of the Beethovenfest, performing the premiere of the symphony "Abendland" by Karsten Gundermann, Beethoven's First Symphony and Edward Elgar's Violin Concerto with Gidon Kremer as the soloist.[5] An exhibition in the opera house was dedicated to the history.[6]

As of 2017, the orchestra has around 100 players, performing each year some 115 performances at the Bonn Opera including all premieres,[4] 40 concerts in Bonn, mostly in the Beethovenhalle, and guest concerts in Germany and abroad. Stefan Blunier was GMD from 2008 to 2016. Christof Perick served as interim GMD of the orchestra for the 2016–2017 season.[7] In February 2016, Dirk Kaftan was named as the next GMD of the orchestra, effective August 2017, with an initial contract of five years.[8] In September 2020, the city of Bonn announced the extension of Kaftan's contract as GMD through 2027.[9]

Guest conductors[edit]

In 1907, Richard Strauss conducted his works in Bonn with the orchestra.[1][2] The Mittelrheinisches Musikfest of 1914 attracted Max Reger, Fritz Busch and Max Bruch. Notable conductors have also included Paul Hindemith, Hans Pfitzner, Erich Kleiber, Joseph Keilberth, Karl Böhm, Rudolf Kempe, Sergiu Celibidache, Günter Wand, Malcolm Sargent, and Kurt Masur.[4][10]

Generalmusikdirektor (GMD)[edit]


  • Terschüren, Heinz-Dieter (2007). 100 Jahre Beethoven-Orchester Bonn (in German). ISBN 3-922832-41-5.


  1. ^ a b c d Huchting, Dietmar (2007). "100 Jahre Beethoven Orchester Bonn" (PDF). CLASS aktuell / Association of Classical Independents in Germany (in German). Cybele Records. pp. 4–5. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Beethoven Orchester Bonn". Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Bonner Zeittafel 1880 bis 1930" (in German). Bonn. Archived from the original on 2017-03-13. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d "Beethoven Orchester Bonn" (in German). Beethovenfest Bonn. Archived from the original on 2017-02-27. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Das Beethoven-Orchester Bonn startet in die Jubiläumsspielzeit 2007/2008" (in German). Bonn. 25 July 2017. Archived from the original on 22 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Nofze, Mathias (9 October 2007). "100 Jahre Beethoven Orchester Bonn: Ausstellung im Opernfoyer" (in German). General-Anzeiger Bonn. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  7. ^ Bernhard Hartmann (2015-07-02). "Christof Prick: Chefdirigent für eine Saison". General-Anzeiger. Retrieved 2015-09-09.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b c Althoff, Bernward (12 February 2016). "Generalmusikdirektor Dirk Kaftan/In Erwartung des neuen Musikchefs" (in German). Bonner Rundschau. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Dirk Kaftan bleibt bis 2027 Generalmusikdirektor des Beethoven-Orchesters Bonn" (Press release). Bundestadt Bonn. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  10. ^ "Beethoven Orchester Bonn" (in German). Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Beethoven Orchester Bonn". Retrieved 21 March 2017.

External links[edit]