Staatskapelle Dresden, Germany, 2020

Tour Dates: 23rd October - 1st November, 2020

Founded by Prince Elector Moritz von Sachsen in 1548, the Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the oldest orchestras in the world and steeped in tradition.

Tour Dates
  • 23rd October - 1st November, 2020

 

Staatskapelle Dresden:

Founded by Prince Elector Moritz von Sachsen in 1548, the Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the oldest orchestras in the world and steeped in tradition.

Over its long history many distinguished conductors and internationally celebrated instrumentalists have left their mark on this onetime court orchestra. Previous directors include Heinrich Schütz, Johann Adolf Hasse, Carl Maria von Weber and Richard Wagner, who called the ensemble his “miraculous harp”. The list of prominent conductors of the last 100 years includes Ernst von Schuch, Fritz Reiner, Fritz Busch, Karl Böhm, Joseph Keilberth, Rudolf Kempe, Otmar Suitner, Kurt Sanderling, Herbert Blomstedt and Giuseppe Sinopoli. The orchestra was directed by Bernard Haitink from 2002-2004 and most recently by Fabio Luisi from 2007-2010. Principal Conductor since the 2012 / 2013 season has been Christian Thielemann. In May 2016 the former Principal Conductor Herbert Blomstedt received the title Conductor Laureate. The only person to previously hold this title was Sir Colin Davis before, from 1990 until his death in April 2013. Myung-Whun Chung has been Principal Guest Conductor since the 2012 / 2013 season.

Richard Strauss and the Staatskapelle were closely linked for more than sixty years. Nine of the composer’s operas were premiered in Dresden, including “Salome”, “Elektra” and “Der Rosenkavalier”, while Strauss’s “Alpine Symphony” was dedicated to the orchestra. Countless other famous composers have written works either dedicated to the orchestra or first performed in Dresden. In 2007 the Staatskapelle reaffirmed this tradition by introducing the annual position of “Capell-Compositeur”. Following on from Hans Werner Henze, Sofia Gubaidulina, Wolfgang Rihm, György Kurtág, Arvo Pärt and Peter Eötvös, the German composer Aribert Reimann will hold this title for the 2019/2020 season. As “Capell-Virtuosin” the cellist Sol Gabetta will take part in concerts in the semperoper as well as on tour.

The Staatskapelle’s home is the Semperoper, where it performs around 250 operas and ballets each season. In addition the ensemble presents another 50 symphonic and chamber concerts in the opera house, as well as playing at various musical events in Dresden’s Frauenkirche.

As one of the world’s most celebrated and popular symphony orchestras, the Staatskapelle regularly travels abroad to the world’s leading classical venues. Since 2013 the Staatskapelle Dresden has been the resident orchestra of the Salzburg Easter Festival, whose Artistic Director is none other than Christian Thielemann.

As patron orchestra of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, the Staatskapelle supports the nurturing of young talent. Also active at the local level, the Kapelle is a partner of Meetingpoint Music Messiaen in the double city of Görlitz-Zgorzelec and, in 2010, helped found the International Shostakovich Festival in Gohrisch (Saxon Switzerland), which is the first annual event dedicated to the music and life of the composer Dmitri Shostakovich.

At a ceremony in Brussels in 2007 the Staatskapelle became the first – and so far only – orchestra to be awarded the “European Prize for the Preservation of the World’s Musical Heritage”.

Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft is Partner of the Staatskapelle Dresden.

Conductor:Christian Thielemann

Since 2012/13 season Christian Thielemann has been Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Following engagements at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in Gelsenkirchen, Karlsruhe, Hanover and Dusseldorf, in 1988 he moved to Nuremberg to occupy the post of Generalmusikdirektor. In 1997 he returned to his hometown of Berlin to direct the Deutsche Oper until 2004, when he became Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic, a post he occupied until 2011. In addition to his current position in Dresden, Thielemann has been Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival since 2013, where the Staatskapelle is resident orchestra.

In previous seasons Christian Thielemann has contributed greatly to the birthday celebrations for Wagner and Strauss. At the same time he has explored a wide range of music from Bach to Henze, Rihm and Gubaidulina in Dresden and on tour. In the Semperoper he recently conducted new productions of “Der Freischütz” and “Ariadne auf Naxos” while for the Salzburg Easter Festival he interpreted “Die Walküre”, “Tosca” and “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”.

Christian Thielemann maintains close ties to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, whose New Year’s Concert he conducted in 2019. Following his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in 2000, he has returned every year to thrill audiences with benchmark interpretations. After serving five years as the festival’s Musical Advisor, in June 2015 he became its Music Director. In addition, he has been invited to conduct the leading orchestras of Europe, the United States, Israel and Asia.

As a UNITEL exclusive artist, Christian Thielemann has a comprehensive catalogue of recordings. His most recent projects with the Staatskapelle have been to record the symphonies of Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner as well as numerous operas. Christian Thielemann is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds honorary doctorates from the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In May 2015 he was awarded the Richard Wagner Prize by the Richard Wagner Society of the city of Leipzig, followed by the Prize of the Semperoper Trust in October 2016. He is patron of the Richard-Wagner-Stätten in Graupa as well as the 49th International youth competition “jugend creativ” of the Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken. In 2019 he was awarded honorary membership of the Gustav Mahler Society in Hamburg. His recordings have been showered with awards.

Violin: Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider will become the seventh Music Director of the Orchestre national de Lyon in September 2020. Prior to that, in 19/20, he will conduct the orchestra’s season-opening concerts and will also take them on tour to Russia. Szeps-Znaider is also a regular guest conductor of the world’s leading orchestras, with recent and forthcoming highlights including performances with the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, and the Stockholm, Brussels, and Oslo Philharmonics. 

Following an outstandingly successful debut conducting ‘Magic Flute’ at the Dresden Semperoper, Szeps-Znaider was immediately re-invited to conduct ‘Rosenkavalier’ at the House in Autumn 2019. The following season he will make his debut at the Royal Danish Opera conducting a new production of Magic Flute.

Also a virtuoso violinist, Szeps-Znaider maintains his reputation as one of the world’s leading exponents of the instrument with a busy calendar of concerto and recital engagements.  He was the 18/19 season Artist in Residence at the Vienna Symphony, both conducting and playing with the orchestra in multiple projects across the season including his Musikverein conducting debut with Mahler’s epic first symphony.

Szeps-Znaider enjoys a strong relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra; an orchestra he has worked with extensively both as conductor and as soloist. Together they recently recorded the complete Mozart Violin Concertos, directed from the violin by Szeps-Znaider, with The Strad extolling his playing as ‘possibly among the most exquisite violin sound ever captured on disc’.

His extensive discography also includes the Nielsen Violin Concerto with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic, the Elgar Concerto in B minor with Sir Colin Davis and the Dresden Staatskapelle, award-winning recordings of the Brahms and Korngold concertos with Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic, the Beethoven and Mendelssohn concertos with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic, the Prokofiev Concerto No. 2 and Glazunov Concerto with Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony, and the Mendelssohn Concerto on DVD with Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Szeps-Znaider has also recorded the complete works of Brahms for violin and piano with Yefim Bronfman.

Szeps-Znaider is passionate about supporting the next generation of musical talent, and is President of the Nielsen Competition, which takes place every three years in Odense, Denmark. He plays the “Kreisler” Guarnerius “del Gesu” 1741 on extended loan to him by The Royal Danish Theater through the generosity of the VELUX Foundations, the Villum Fonden and the Knud Højgaard Foundation.

Review

"This is one of the very few orchestras with its own distinctive sound."

- Gramophone

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