The German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra is the most recently formed German radio symphony orchestra. Created in 2007 following the merger of the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra (SR) and the Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern (SWR), two of ARD’s tradition-steeped ensembles, the orchestra has quickly made a name for itself and earned its place among the renowned German radio orchestras. Besides the vocal pieces, programme highlights include the classical-romantic repertoire as well as music from the 20th and 21st centuries. Commissioned works extend the repertoire to contemporary orchestral works.
Since the 2011/12 season, Briton Karel Mark Chichon has been Principal Conductor. He took over the conductor’s lectern from 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 German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra gives around 70 concerts per season in Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern, but also in the greater area where the three countries Germany, France and Luxembourg meet (Greater Region of SaarLorLux), as well as in Rhineland-Palatinate. The orchestra also performs concert series in Karlsruhe, Mainz and Metz. In the 2012/13 season, it has been invited to perform at the Heidelberger Frühling festival, the music festival Musikfestspiele Saar, the RheinVokal festival, the Moselle Music Festival and the Rheingau Music Festival. The orchestra toured Switzerland (2008), China (2009), Japan (2011) and Korea (2012).
The 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. On the television, the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra can be seen in SR/SWR television programmes, as well as on the ARTE culture channel.
In addition to full recordings of the symphonies by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Gouvy, the orchestra’s extensive discography also includes several international award-winning CDs such as cello concertos by Hindemith, Honegger and Martinu with soloist Johannes Moser (Quarterly Critics' Choice 2/2011, German Record Critics’ Award) and Schumann’s complete works for violin and orchestra with violinist Lena Neudauer (International Classical Music Award 2011). The German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra has recorded 2 CDs in the “Ballets russes” range published by SWR music.
With its educational project “Classical music comes to school” (Klassik macht Schule), a range of children’s concerts, family concerts and various music promotion projects, the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra is committed to attracting the younger audience, a field in which it is experiencing growing success.