The SWR Symphonieorchester (Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra) is a radio orchestra affiliated with the Südwestrundfunk (Southwest German Radio) public broadcasting network. Formed in 2016, the orchestra is administratively based in Stuttgart. The artistic director of the orchestra is Johannes Bultmann, and the current managing director is Felix Fischer. The orchestra's chief conductor designate is Teodor Currentzis.
The SWR Symphonieorchester gives concerts in several German cities and concert halls. Its principal cities and concert venues are as follows:
- Stuttgart (Liederhalle; Theaterhaus; Wilhelmatheater)
- Freiburg im Breisgau (Konzerthaus, E-Werk)
- Mannheim (Rosengarten)
The orchestra also performs in other German cities and venues, including the following:
- Karlsruhe (Konzerthaus; Hochschule fur Gestaltung)
- Ulm (Congress Centrum)
- Dortmund (Konzerthaus)
- Donaueschingen (Baarsporthalle)
The two precursor ensembles to the SWR Symphonieorchester were the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra, the latter based in Baden-Baden und Freiburg. The Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra, in particular, had a specific reputation for its performances of contemporary music. In June 2012, the SWR Broadcasting Council voted to approve a measure proposed by SWR Intendant Peter Boudgoust to merge the two orchestras, for ostensible reasons of budgetary limitations for two separate orchestras affiliated with the SWR. The SWR Broadcasting Council formally passed the measure in September 2012, with the merger of the two orchestras scheduled for 2016.
The formation of the new orchestra, under the new name of the SWR Symphonieorchester, produced an ensemble in 2016 with a complement of 175 musicians drawn from the two previous orchestras. The eventual goal is to attain a roster of 119 musicians. The new orchestra gave its first concert on 22 September 2016 in Stuttgart at the Liederhalle, under the direction of Péter Eötvös.
The orchestra did not have a chief conductor at the time of its founding. In April 2017, the SWR announced the appointment of Teodor Currentzis as the first chief conductor of the orchestra, effective with the 2018-2019 season.
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