The Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern (German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra) was created in 2007-2008 season as a result of the merging of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken (Saabrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra (SR)) and the SWR-Rundfunkorchester Kaiserslautern (SWR Radio Orchestra Kaiserslauten) under the musical direction of Christoph Poppen. The orchestra is based both in Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern.
With 108 musicians at present, the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Saarbrücken Kaiserslauten is one of the largest orchestras in the ARD, the German national public-service broadcaster. The principal conductor is Christoph Poppen.
Regular performance venues include the Congresshalle (Congress Hall) in Saarbrücken and the Fruchthalle (Fruit Hall) in Kaiserslautern, as well as the broadcasting studios of the Saarländischer Rundfunk (Saarland Broadcasting) in Saarbrücken and the SWR (Southwest Broadcasting) in Kaiserslautern. The German Radio Philharmonic gives concerts predominantly in the Greater Region of Saar-Lor-Lux and Rhineland–Palatinate. The orchestra is often invited to perform in Karlsruhe, Mainz and in the Old Opera House in Frankfurt, as well as this season at the Schwetzingen Festival, the Moselle Music Festival in Trier, in the Philharmonie Concert Hall in Luxembourg and at the European Music Festival in Stuttgart. In October 2009 the orchestra is going on its first tour to China with concerts in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Macao.
The artistic highlights for the 2008-2009 season are compositions for voice and orchestra - from Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis to Stephen Hartke’s Third Symphony via Schumann’s Requiem. The orchestra is also focusing on Anton Webern’s complete works for orchestra as well as presenting contemporary classics such as Klaus Huber, Salvatore Sciarrino and Heinz Holliger. Numerous other premieres are planned for the course of the season.
Guest performers this season include famous international soloists such as pianists Rudolf Buchbinder and Olli Mustonen, violinists Janine Jansen and Carolin Widmann, singers Sibylla Rubens, Andreas Scholl, Christoph Prégardien, the Hilliard Ensemble, Bavarian Radio Chorus, SWR Stuttgart Vocal Ensemble and Saarbrücken Chamber Choir. Guest conductors are, among others, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Olari Elts, Krysztof Urbánski, Wolfram Christ, Fabrice Bollon, Pietari Inkinnen, Paul Goodwin, Josep Pons, Constantin Trinks, Heinz Holliger, Michael Sanderling.
The German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra will be recording Robert Schumann’s complete works for piano or violin and orchestra, as well as the Requiem Op.148 for SWR-Music (Southwest Broadcasting Music), in additon to the cello concertos of Arthur Honegger, Martinu and Paul Hindemith with Johannes Moser. The full recording of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies will be completed for Oehms Classics.