The Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie (North West German Philharmonic; AKA: NWD-Philharmoniker) is a German symphony orchestra based in Herford. It was founded in 1950 and, along with Philharmonie Südwestfalen and Landesjugendorchester NRW, is one of the 'official' orchestras (Landesorchester) of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The orchestra has been shaped by conductors such as Wilhelm Schüchter, Hermann Scherchen and Andris Nelsons, has regularly served several cities in northwest Germany, toured internationally and recorded unusual repertory. Since 2010 the conductor is Eugene Tzigane.
A predecessor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie was founded in 1946 under this name in Bad Pyrmont by members of the former Linzer Reichs-Bruckner-Orchester and the Prager Deutsche Philharmonie. In 1950 this orchestra merged with the Herforder Sinfonisches Orchester. The new orchestra was first named Städtebund-Symphoniker, but in 1951 Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie.
The orchestra is funded partly by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and an association of communities in the region Ostwestfalen-Lippe. Members of the association are the cities Bad Salzuflen, Bünde, Detmold, Herford, Lemgo, Minden and Paderborn and the districts Herford und Lippe.
The 78 musicians play about 120 concerts per year, mainly in the cities which support the orchestra, but also on international tours to the USA and Japan, among others. The have played in concert halls such as the Berliner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Dortmund and Großes Festspielhaus in Salzburg.
The orchestra collaborates with the public radio station WDR3. They recorded more than 200 records and CD’s. The orchestra has accompanied singers such as Anna Netrebko, José Cura, Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti und Renée Fleming. The players are engaged in pedagogical programs for schools and young listeners, reaching more than 12,000 children a year.
The orchestra conducts an international summer academy, in 2010 with Fabio Bidini.
Wilhelm Schüchter conducted in 1955 a recording of Smetana's opera The Bartered Bride performed in German, with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the chorus of the Landestheater Hannover, Erna Berger, Rudolf Schock, Gottlob Frick, Hans-Hermann Nissen, Christa Ludwig, Theodor Schlott and Marga Höffgen.
In 1960 Hermann Scherchen recorded works of Max Reger with alto Margarethe Bence and the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, including Eine Lustspielouvertüre (Comedy Overture), Serenade for orchestra, Romantic Suite for orchestra, An die Hoffnung, Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Beethoven and Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart.
Werner Andreas Albert conducted the orchestra in a recording of Robert Volkmann's orchestral works, two ouvertures, two symphonies and a cello concerto with soloist Johannes Wohlmacher.
The orchestra, conducted by Erich Bergel, accompanied pianist Volker Banfield on a recording of Les Djinns, a symphonic poem for piano and orchestra of César Franck.
János Kulka conducted the orchestra for a recording of works of Franz Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6, Two Episodes of Lenau's Faust and Hunnenschlacht.
Alun Francis conducted a recording of Carl Reinecke's four piano concertos with pianist Klaus Hellwig.
Conducted by Michail Jurowski, they played in 1995 the premiere recording of Dmitri Shostakovich's unfinished opera The Gamblers after Nikolai Gogol, completed by Krzysztof Meyer in 1981, sung in Russian by soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre.
Toshiyuki Kamioka conducted Einojuhani Rautavaara's Symphony No.7 (Angel of Light) in January 2000 in Detmold, Paderborn, Herford, Bad Salzuflen and Minden.
Max Reger's monumental Der 100. Psalm was performed in the Reinoldikirche in Dortmund as part of the Max-Reger-Wochen 2004 in a collaboration with four choirs: Chor der Hochschule für Musik Herford, Westfälische Kantorei, Herford, Münsterchor Herford, and Chor des Städtischen Musikvereins Hamm.
In 2004 Benjamin Britten's War Requiem was performed in the Mainz Cathedral in a collaboration with Joshard Daus and the EuropaChorAkademie.
In August 2006 Frank Beermann conducted Gustav Mahler's Resurrection Symphony the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie and the Philharmonische Chöre Siegen und Brühl in the Alfred-Fischer-Halle in Hamm.
In November 2006 the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, conducted by Andreas Delfs, accompanied Renée Fleming in the Berlin Philharmonie. With the EuropaChorAkademie the orchestra played there Francis Poulenc's Stabat Mater and Anton Bruckner's Mass in F minor.
Andris Nelsons conducted Béla Bartók's Viola Concerto, with soloist Hermann Menninghaus, and G. Mahler's Symphony No. 5 in Herford in the final concert with his orchestra in May 2009.
A program of orchestral Lieder and works of Hans Pfitzner and Richard Strauss with baritone Hans Christoph Begemann and conductor Otto Tausk was also performed in Witten.
Eugene Tzigane conducted two concerts in the Tonhalle Zürich, works of Dvořák and Tschaikovsky on May 3, 2010, and Carl Maria von Weber's ouverture to Der Freischütz, W.A. Mozarts Clarinet concerto with Sebastian Manz, and Hans Christoph Begemann's Symphony No. 7 on May 4, 2010. Tzigane conducted the concerts marking the orchestra's 60th anniversary in October 2010, Don Juan of Richard Strauss, the Violin Concerto of Erich Korngold, with soloist Philippe Quint, and the Symphony in D minor of César Franck.
In November 2010 the orchestra took part in a performance in the Berlin Philharmonie of Hans Krása's: Die Erde ist des Herrn... and Ein deutsches Requiem of Johannes Brahms.
The orchestra has played in operas by Richard Wagner, staged at the theatre of Minden on an initiative of the Richard-Wagner-Verband Minden. The conductor has been Frank Beermann, GMD of the Chemnitz Opera:
2002 Der fliegende Holländer
2012 Tristan und Isolde