NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra

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NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
Radio orchestra
The NDR Sinfonieorchester
The NDR Sinfonieorchester performing in the Laeiszhalle (2010)
Native name NDR Sinfonieorchester
Former name NWDR Sinfonieorchester
Founded 1945 (1945)
Location Rothenbaumchaussee 132
20149 Hamburg, Germany
Concert hall Elbphilharmonie
(starting 2017)
Principal conductor Thomas Hengelbrock
(since 2011)
Website ndr.de

The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra (German: Orchester) is one of the symphony orchestras of Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR), or North German Broadcasting. It is based at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany, taking its name in 2016 from the building, which opened officially in January 2017. Earlier the ensemble was called the NDR Symphony Orchestra (German: Sinfonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks) or, less often, the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra.

It was founded by British occupation authorities after World War II as part of Radio Hamburg (NWDR), which was the only radio station in what would become West Germany not destroyed during the war. The first musicians came mostly from the ranks of the old Nazi-controlled Großes Rundfunkorchester des Reichssenders Hamburg. Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, who was living near Hamburg, was given the task of assembling the members, something he accomplished over a period of six months. The orchestra gave its first concert in November 1945 under his baton, with Yehudi Menuhin as soloist.

The orchestra first visited the UK in 1951, as part of the concerts celebrating the re-opening in Manchester of the Free Trade Hall.[1]

The orchestra is renowned for its performances of the core classical and romantic repertoire by composers such as Beethoven and Bruckner, but also noted for its interpretations of contemporary works. It rose to particular significance under the baton of Günter Wand. Wand conducted several commercial recordings with the orchestra for the RCA Victor Red Seal and EMI labels. The orchestra has also recorded for the Deutsche Grammophon and CPO labels.

Beginning with the 2011–2012 season, Thomas Hengelbrock is the orchestra's principal conductor, with an initial contract of 3 years.[2] The orchestra's current principal guest conductor is Alan Gilbert.

Principal conductors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Potts, Joseph E., "European Radio Orchestras: Western Germany" (September 1955). The Musical Times, 96 (1351): 473–475.
  2. ^ "Thomas Hengelbrock wird neuer Chefdirigent" (Press release). NDR Symphony Orchestra. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 

External links[edit]