The German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra is the most recently formed German radio symphony orchestra. It was created in 2007 following the merger of the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra (SR) and the Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern (SWR). The Principal Conductor is Briton Karel Mark Chichon. He succeeded Christoph Poppen who had held the position of Principal Conductor since the creation of the orchestra in 2007. Stanislaw Skrowaczewski has been connected with the orchestra as the Principal Guest Conductor for many years.
The orchestra’s repertoire not only includes core works from the classical-romantic period but also comprises less well-known works. Under the direction of Principal Conductor Karel Mark Chichon, the orchestra is currently working on a complete recording of Antonin Dvorák’s symphonic works. Historically informed interpretations of pre-classical works that are prepared with specialists are an integral part of the orchestra’s work along with regular premieres of contemporary music, commissioned works or the “Saarbrücken Composers’ Workshop”, which provides contemporary composers with an opportunity to present their first orchestral works.
The reputation of the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra extends far beyond its resident locations of Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern – it regularly gives concerts in nearby France and Luxembourg as well as in Mainz, Karlsruhe, Brussels, Ludwigshafen and Worms. Over the past few years, the orchestra has toured Switzerland, China, Japan and, in 2012 and 2014, South Korea.
The orchestra’s concerts are broadcast either as part of the Saarländischer Rundfunk (Saarland Broadcasting) or the Südwestrundfunk (Southwest Broadcasting) radio programmes, or by the European Broadcasting Union as well as on the SR/SWR and ARTE television channels.
In addition to full recordings of the symphonies by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Schumann and Gouvy, the orchestra’s extensive discography also includes several international award-winning CDs. Recently, the “French Trombone Concertos” CD (Soloist: Fabrice Millischer) won the 2014 “ECHO Klassik” music award.
“Classical music comes to school” – a range of children’s concerts, family concerts and various music promotion projects such as the ARD School Symphony Orchestra “Gershwin Experiment” in 2015 is particularly aimed at young audiences.