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The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is among the oldest civic music institutions in the world. Its roots go back to 1743, when a group of Leipzig merchants founded a society called “The Grand Concert.” In 1781, the orchestra moved into its signature concert hall, a building used by textile merchants (the “Gewandhaus”), which gave the ensemble its name. Felix Men-
delssohn, who took on the position of Music Director in 1835 – becoming the first conductor in the modern sense of the term – established the ensemble’s European reputation. His successors have included Carl Reinecke (1860–95), Arthur Nikisch (1895–1922), Wilhelm Furtwängler (1922–28), Bruno Walter (1929–33), Franz Konwitschny (1949–62), Kurt Masur (1970–96), Herbert Blomstedt (1998–2005), and Riccardo Chailly (2005–2016). Since February 2018, Andris Nelsons has been at the helm as the 21st Gewandhauskapellmeister. The orchestra, which today comprises more than 180 musicians, performs operas and symphony concerts as well as sacred music with the famous Thomaner Boys’ Choir for the liturgies at the Thomaskirche. The Gewandhaus Orchestra has toured all over the world since 1916. The most recent tour it completed, in May and June 2019, was to Japan and China. The Gewandhaus Orchestra has played an essential role in the development of symphonic music. In 1825-26, while Beethoven was still alive, his complete symphonies already formed part of its repertoire, and the world’s first Bruckner cycle was performed in Leipzig in 1919-20. This rich tradition of world premieres, which include works by Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Brahms, continues with the orchestra’s annual commissions. The Gewandhaus Orchestra’s recordings have garnered numerous prizes, including a Gold Record Award. Under Andris Nelsons, the musicians are currently recording the complete Bruckner symphonies.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 8 September 1998, with Herbert Blomstedt conducting the Third Symphonies of Honegger and Bruckner.
For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at: www.gewandhaus.de