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Founded in 1893, the Munich Philharmonic attained international renown under the leadership of its music director Felix Weingartner (1889–1905). Gustav Mahler conducted the orchestra in the world premieres of his Fourth and Eighth Symphonies, and, shortly after Mahler’s death, Bruno Walter led them in the first performance of Das Lied von der Erde. The Bruckner student Ferdinand Löwe, who held the leadership position from 1908 to 1914, established the Philharmonic’s great Bruckner tradition. Siegmund von Hausegger and Oswald Kabasta guided the ensemble until the end of the Second World War. In 1945 Hans Rosbaud launched a tenure that was marked by his passion for modern music. His successors were Fritz Rieger (1949–66) and Rudolf Kempe (1967–76), and in 1979 began the 17-year Sergiu Celibidache era. He strengthened the Munich Philharmonic’s international reputation through numerous tours abroad. From 1999 to 2004, James Levine helmed the orchestra; appearances at Carnegie Hall in New York and the BBC Proms in London became highlights of his tenure. Under Christian Thielemann, who was General Music Director from 2004 to 2011, the orchestra traveled to such countries as Japan, Korea, and China. Lorin Maazel was Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic from 2012 to 2014. Since 2015 Valery Gergiev has held the leadership position, putting an emphasis on symphonic cycles by Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninoff; in Munich he also leads the MPHIL 360° Festival. Since 2016 the orchestra has released recordings on its own in-house label, “MPHIL,” and is currently involved in a complete edition of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner. In addition to Gergiev, Zubin Mehta has a prominent position as Honorary Conductor.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 23 March 2002, with Christian Thielemann conducting works by Debussy, Chausson, and Ravel.
For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at http://www.mphil.de/en.