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Throughout its seven decades, the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg, which was founded in 1946, has considered itself equally dedicated to championing new music and to cultivating the traditional symphonic repertoire. With this in mind, such music directors as Hans Rosbaud, Ernest Bour, and Michael Gielen have defined and formed an ensemble celebrated for its versatility, flexibility, and authority. From 1999 to 2011 Sylvain Cambreling headed the orchestra, and since September 2011 François-Xavier Roth has served as music director. He undertook a complete recording of the tone poems of Richard Strauss; launched Patch Days in 2014, which is an innovative collaborative project for professionals and lay people; and, most recently, from January to March 2015, presented the Festival Beethoven plus, in which works by the Viennese master were paired with creations by more contemporary composers. From the beginning the SWR Symphony Orchestra was at home on the world’s major stages. The ensemble gave the first American performance of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Requiem für einen jungen Dichter in New York and performed Helmut Lachenmann’s The Little Match Girl at the Salzburg Festival. Its discography over the years encompasses more than 600 works, and the orchestra has given some 400 world premieres, many of them at the Donaueschingen Music Festival. For its services above all in the area of contemporary music, in 2013 the SWR Symphony Orchestra received the Nightingale Award, which is the honorary distinction of the German Record Critics’ Association; in 2014 it garnered ECHO Klassik’s Orchestra of the Year Award. This concert marks the orchestra’s farewell to its Lucerne audience; in 2016 it will be merged with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 29 August 1973 playing works by Brun, Schnyder von Wartensee, Jenny, Eisenmann, and Benary conducted by Max Sturzenegger.
For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at: www.swr.de