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The Staatskapelle Berlin, which was founded by the Brandenburg Elector Joachim II as a court orchestra and which was mentioned in documents for the first time in 1570, ranks among the world’s oldest orchestras. When Frederick the Great opened the Royal Opera in 1742, the ensemble’s activities expanded: since that time the orchestra has enjoyed a closer association with the opera house Unter den Linden. Famous musical figures have led the concert series, which was established in 1842: the list of conductors ranges from Spontini, Mendelssohn, and Meyerbeer through Weingartner, Strauss, and Furtwängler to Karajan, Konwitschny, and Suitner. Even Richard Wagner worked with the Court Orchestra – and since then his works have been cornerstones of its repertoire. Since 1992 Daniel Barenboim has helmed the ensemble; in 2000 the orchestra named him Conductor for Life. Along with subscription concerts at the Berlin Philharmonie and the Konzerthaus, the Staatskapelle regularly tours to the musical centers of Europe, Israel, Japan, China, and North and South America. As part of an annual festival the musicians also often present work cycles, including two rounds of the ten great Wagner operas. In the area of concert music they performed the nine Bruckner symphonies in Tokyo at the beginning of 2016; in the 2016-17 season they will present the complete cycle in New York and Paris as well. The Staatskapelle Berlin has been named Ensemble of the Year five times by the magazine Opernwelt; in 2003 it received the Furtwängler Prize and a Grammy Award and, in 2007, the Echo Klassik. With the Orchestra Academy, which was founded in 1997, the members are also active in the field of training; many of them additionally volunteer as part of the Musikkindergarten, which Daniel Barenboim founded in 2005.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut in September 1994 with two concepts of works by Beethoven, Wagner, and Verdi under the direction of Daniel Barenboim.