Orchestre symphonique de Bamberg
The Bamberg Symphony is an extraordinary orchestra in an extraordinary city. Bamberg without its orchestra would be a city lacking something essential, something elemental, like the air to breathe: almost 10% of the local population are subscribers to one of its five own concert series. In addition, there are numerous special concerts, almost all of which are sold out.
And yet the Bamberg Symphony is far more than the musical centre of the city and the entire region. They are one of Germany's most travelled orchestras: since 1946 they have been delighting audiences all over the world with their characteristically dark, round and radiant sound. With far more than 7,300 concerts in over 500 cities and 63 countries, they have also become a cultural ambassador for Bavaria and the whole of Germany as the Bavarian State Philharmonic Orchestra and regularly tour, for example, the USA, South America, Japan, and China.
The circumstances of its founding make the Bamberg Symphony a mirror of German history: in 1946, former members of the German Philharmonic Orchestra Prague met colleagues in Bamberg who had also had to flee their homeland as a result of the war and post-war turmoil, and founded the "Bamberg Tonkünstlerorchester", shortly afterwards renamed the Bamberg Symphony. Starting with the Prague orchestra, its lines of tradition can be traced back to the 19th and 18th centuries. Thus the roots of the Bamberg Symphony reach back to Mahler and Mozart.
With the Czech Jakub Hrůša, the fifth chief conductor of the Bamberg Symphony since September 2016, a bridge has been built again between the historical roots of the Bamberg Symphony and its present day, more than seven decades after the orchestra was founded.
From the very beginning, a not insignificant contribution to the worldwide fame of the Bamberg Symphony has been made by countless concert broadcasts in cooperation with the Bavarian Radio (BR) as well as radio, record and CD productions. Especially in the extraordinary collaboration with principal conductor Jakub Hrůša, outstanding and multiple award-winning recordings have already been made: The recording of Martinů's 4th and Dvořák's only piano concerto with pianist Ivo Kahánek (on Supraphon) was awarded the highly respected Czech "Anděl Prize" as well as the prestigious BBC Music Magazine Award in 2019. One of two by now released double CDs of symphonies by Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořak was named "Recording of the Month" by BBC Music Magazine in March 2019. The edition will be completed with two more CDs in summer of 2022.
In July 2019, the orchestra broke new ground with another recording of Smetana's "Má vlast" (My Fatherland) using the "direct-to-disc" method, in which the recording is made directly onto the disc without digital post-processing, creating a unique sound experience. The recording of Mahler's 4th Symphony (2020; accentus music) was awarded the 2021 "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik". This was followed by a recording of Anton Bruckner's 4th Symphony in all three versions, united in one edition - a unique project to date, which won the International Classical Music Award in January 2022.
In 2021, an audio book was published (also by accentus music) that recounts the 75-year history of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, whose roots extend to Prague through the time of Gustav Mahler to the lifetime of Mozart.
The fact that this collaboration also places a great deal of emphasis on programmatic content in the concerts is attested to by the award from the German Music Publishers Association for "The Best Concert Programme" in spring 2018. In 2020, the orchestra received the Bavarian State Prize for Music.