The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra was founded in 1945 as the Symphony Orchestra of North-Western German Radio in Hamburg and became known as the NDR Sinfonieorchester starting in 1956. Since 2016, it has gone by its current name as the orchestra in residence at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. The orchestra’s sonic character was formed by its first principal conductor, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, who stood at the helm for more than 25 years. The collaboration with Günter Wand, who held the chief conducting position from 1982 to 1991 and served as honorary conductor until his death, is considered legendary; their performances of the Bruckner and Brahms symphonies achieved cult status during his tenure. Following Christoph Eschenbach, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Thomas Hengelbrock, Alan Gilbert took over in 2019. With his orchestra, he plays a key role in shaping the artistic profile of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, which hosts symphony and chamber concerts, as well as such innovative formats as club and hourly concerts, numerous education projects, and festivals lasting several days. The ensemble’s repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the present. Along with its performances in Hamburg, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra plays regularly in Lübeck, Kiel, and Wismar and assumes a leading role at the big music festivals in Northern Germany. It has established its international presence through tours within Europe and to North and South America and Asia. In the 2022–23 season, the orchestra will launch the new festival “Elbphilharmonie Visions,” a snapshot of the current music world featuring the finest contemporary works.

Lucerne Festival debut on 28 August 1990 performing symphonies by Schubert and Bruckner conducted by Günter Wand.

July 2022