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Founded in 1949, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. As its first Chief Conductor, Eugen Jochum developed the Orchestra during his 11-year tenure and brought it international renown, especially through his Bruckner performances. His successor was Rafael Kubelík (1961–79), who expanded its repertoire to include works by Slavic composers, led its first Mahler cycle, and became a champion of 20th-century music. Sir Colin Davis, an acclaimed Berlioz specialist, stood at the helm from 1983 to 1992 and was a dedicated advocate of the Mozart repertoire and of the works of British composers. Lorin Maazel held the reins from 1993 to 2002, leading complete cycles of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Schubert, and Mahler. Since October 2003, Mariss Jansons has held the position of Chief Conductor, presenting a repertoire that ranges widely, from Haydn to Shostakovich and contemporary composers. Many renowned conductors have led the Orchestra, from Otto Klemperer and Karl Böhm through Sir Georg Solti, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Leonard Bernstein to such stars of the present as Herbert Blomstedt, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Sir Simon Rattle, and Franz Welser-Möst, all of whom are scheduled to conduct the ensemble during the 2018-19 season. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra regularly presents world premieres of new works through its “musica viva” series. The orchestra also performs international tours: in November 2018, the musicians concertized under Zubin Mehta in Taiwan, Japan (earning the votes of leading Japanese music critics for top place on their “best concerts of 2018” lists), and Korea and, in March 2019, undertook a European tour with Mariss Jansons. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra has appeared in an annual residency at Lucerne’s Easter Festival since 2004.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 28 August 1965 in a program of works by Bartók and Bruckner under Rafael Kubelík.