Founded in 1952, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra (BSO) gained international recognition under Chief Conductor Kurt Sanderling (between 1960 and 1977). Numerous stars from the music world such as David Oistrach and Emil Gilels performed regularly with the orchestra. Sanderling also succeeded in building up a strong core of regulars for his subscription series even though the BSO moved between several different locations.
In 1977, Günter Herbig was appointed Chief Conductor, followed by Claus Peter Flor who took over in 1984. In the same year, Karl Friedrich Schinkel's famous Schauspielhaus was reopened as a concert hall. The BSO thus got its first permanent residency on the city's most beautiful square, the Gendarmenmarkt. Starting from there, Flor took the orchestra on numerous tours around the world. In 1988, they toured around Great Britain, the U.S.A. and Japan for seven weeks. Flor succeeded in furthering the already excellent national reputation of the orchestra to an international level as well.
During Michael Schønwandt’s term (1992 to 1998), the BSO officially merged with the Konzerthaus, becoming the house’s own orchestra. From 2001, the year of the orchestra’s 50th anniversary, Eliahu Inbal steered the BSO into the next generation. Young musicians from all parts of the world visibly added to the orchestra’s changes. In 2001 the BSO successfully toured Japan, playing 15 concerts in 13 cities. In 2004 Inbal and the orchestra gave concerts also in Spain on a two-week tour, and in 2005 the BSO gave guest performances in China, Japan and Korea. In 2006 the orchestra toured Spain and Germany.
With nearly 13,000 subscribers the Konzerthausorchester Berlin is among the orchestras with the highest number of regular visitors in Germany. As of August 2006, a new name started a new chapter in the history of the orchestra. Lothar Zagrosek will continuously amplify the repertoire and the stylistic range of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin in order to interpret music from Monteverdi to Lachenmann with equal dynamism in the future.
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