Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden

Founded in 1548 by Elector Moritz of Saxony, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Leading international musicians have left their mark on the former court ensemble, which now serves as the Saxon State Orchestra. Its leaders have included the likes of Heinrich Schütz, Johann Adolf Hasse, Carl Maria von Weber, and Richard Wagner. For over 60 years Richard Strauss was closely associated as a conductor, composer, and friend of the ensemble, which maintains its international reputation as a “Strauss Orchestra” to this day: nine of his operas were premiered in Dresden, and he dedicated his Alpine Symphony to the Staatskapelle. Among its most influential principal conductors of the 20th century were Fritz Reiner, Fritz Busch, Karl Böhm, Joseph Keilberth, Kurt Sanderling, and Herbert Blomstedt. From 1992 until his premature death in April 2001, Giuseppe Sinopoli helmed the orchestra; he was followed by Bernard Haitink and Fabio Luisi. Since 2012 Christian Thielemann has been Principal Conductor, with Myung-Whun Chung as First Guest Conductor. The musicians give some 260 opera and ballet performances each season at the Semperoper, as well as around 50 symphonic and chamber music concerts. Since 2013 the Staatskapelle has also served as the orchestra for the Salzburg Easter Festival. Through the newly created position of “Capell Compositeur” the ensemble champions contemporary music. Following Hans Werner Henze, Wolfgang Rihm, and Sofia Gubaidulina, in the 2015-16 season this position will be held by György Kurtág; the pianist Yefim Bronfman likewise serves as “Capell Virtuoso.” In 2007 the ensemble received the European Culture Foundation Prize for Preservation of the World’s Musical Heritage. Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory in Dresden has been a partner of the Staats-kapelle Dresden since 2008.

LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 24 August 1979 in works by Respighi and Bruckner conducted by Herbert Blomstedt.

August 2015