The Düsseldofer Symphonbiker (Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra) is a unique ensemble that performs in two settings, the Tonhalle Düsseldorf and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. The orchestra’s concert tours, which have included destinations such as Amsterdam, Salzburg, Vienna, China and Japan, carry the reputation of Düsseldorf as a city of culture throughout the world.
The orchestra has a long and great history: in the 18th century, internationally celebrated musicians such as Georg Frideric Handel and Arcangelo Corelli worked with the Düsseldorfer Hofkapelle at the electoral court. When the Düsseldorfer Hofkapelle disbanded, many of the musicians began to work in Mannheim with one of the most famous orchestras of the time.
One hundred years later, an orchestra culture was once again created in Düsseldorf with the founding of the Städtischen Musikverein zu Düsseldorf in 1818. Once again, this city on the banks of the Rhine was able to attract important artists. The first musical directors in Düsseldorf included such famous musicians as Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1833-1835) and Ferdinand Hiller (1847-1850), who were already highly acclaimed for their accomplishments.
Robert Schumann served as the ensemble’s musical director from 1850 to 1854 after being recommended for the position by Ferdinand Hiller. The city of Düsseldorf was more than happy that it was able to persuade the musical couple of Robert and Clara Schumann, who were already world-famous at the time, to remain in the city. In spite of his incurable disease, Schumann composed many of his best works in Düsseldorf. It was the first and last time that Schumann held public office, which meant that Düsseldorf, along with Leipzig and Berlin, was regarded as one the most important cities of music in Germany at the time.
Over the following decades, the orchestra developed into one of the largest leading ensembles in Germany. The Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra is Germany's second oldest municipal orchestra. General Music Director Heinrich Hollreiser was responsible for the reconstruction of the orchestra after 1945. He was succeeded by such famed conductors as Eugen Szenkar, Jean Martinon, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Henryk Czyz, Willem van Otterloo, Bernhard Klee, David Shallon, Salvador Mas Conde. Salvador Mas Conde. The American, John Fiore, worked as GMD in the state capital from 2000 to 2008. Beginning with the 2009-2010 season, Russian conductor Andrey Boreyko will be the music director of the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra.
Educational work is also a priority for the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra. In ongoing cooperation with schools, workshops focusing on topics relating to music and composers are organized for young musicians. School tours by the orchestra and visits by individual musicians are just as much part of the orchestra's everyday work as class groups attending rehearsals. For many seasons now, the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra has staged morning youth concerts hosted by the respective conductors. The new "3-2-1 IGNITION" series of concerts has also been highly successful in its attempts to attract the attention of young people.
The orchestra’s recent recording of Strauss' tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra was released to great acclaim by the press. The orchestra’s discography also includes the orchestra's own CD productions of concert and opera recordings and recordings by the Städtischen Musikverein zu Düsseldorf. A CD box set including Bruckner's 9th Symphony and Arnold Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder has also recently been released.