Dresden Philharmonic

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Logo of the Dresden Philharmonic (since 2019)
Dresden Philharmonic 2012
The Dresden Philharmonic in the renovated Kulturpalast

The Dresden Philharmonic is a concert orchestra financed by the city of Dresden , which was founded in 1871 as the “Gewerbehaus-Kapelle”.


On November 29, 1870, an event hall (Gewerbehaussaal) with 2057 seats was opened in the Gewerbehaus (Ostraallee 13), accessible to the citizens of the city . In 1871 the trade association founded the trade house chapel . In 1909 it was one of the first German orchestras to go on tour in the USA. In 1915 the name was changed to "Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra" and in 1923 to "Dresden Philharmonic". Under the chief conductor Paul van Kempen , who succeeded Hugo Wagner as artistic director from 1934 to 1942 , the orchestra developed into one of the best in Germany. From 1947 to 1963 Heinz Bongartz was chief conductor of the orchestra. Kurt Masur has been the conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic since 1955, and from 1967 to 1972 he led the orchestra as chief conductor. From 1986 to 1995 Jörg-Peter Weigle directed the orchestra, from 2003 to 2011 Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos was chief conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic, followed by Michael Sanderling from 2011 to 2019 . For the 2019/2020 season, Marek Janowski returned to this post, which he had already held once until 2003.

From 1965 to 1997 the dramaturgy was in the hands of Dieter Härtwig .

Olivier von Winterstein was the director of the orchestra from 1992 until his death in July 2004 , followed by Anselm Rose on an interim basis until the end of 2004 and regularly from January 2005 to December 2014 . His successor has been Frauke Roth since January 2015 .

Logo of the Dresden Philharmonic until the 2018/2019 season

For the 2019/2020 season, the Dresden Philharmonic gave itself a new corporate design with a new logo. While there were previously two notes that were reminiscent of the initials d and p, the new hexagonal logo is based on the concert hall in the Dresden Kulturpalast.

Repertoire and work

The orchestra's home venue is the Kulturpalast on Altmarkt in Dresden, which includes a modern concert hall with excellent acoustics. The building was erected in 1969 as a multi-purpose building and opened by the then chief conductor Kurt Masur .

For years there has been a desire in Dresden for a new, clean, concert hall for the Dresden Philharmonic. This had to be postponed again and again for fiscal reasons. For this reason, too, Marek Janowski , who had linked his chief conductor activity to the construction of a new concert hall, gave up this position in 2003 after only two years after his appointment, after he had to be informed that this new building or the start of construction within his contract period was not possible due to the financial situation of the city ( Elbe flood 2002 ). Only the debt relief of the city under Mayor Ingolf Roßberg enabled the necessary financial leeway, which nevertheless required further years of planning. In 2012, after a long planning process, it was closed for extensive renovation work and the installation of a new, pure concert hall.

From 2012–2017 the orchestra was based in the Waldschlösschenviertel , where rehearsal rooms, instrument storage and administrative offices were located. The opening of the new concert hall and the associated return of the orchestra to its traditional venue, the Kulturpalast Dresden , took place on April 28, 2017.

In August 2016 there were 116 permanent positions and, under the direction of chief conductor Michael Sanderling, a complete recording of the symphonies by Dimitri Shostakowitsch and Ludwig van Beethoven was in the making.

The Philharmonic Choirs are affiliated with the Dresden Philharmonic: since the 2012/13 season they have been under the direction of the choir director Gunter Berger . The Dresden Philharmonic is a member of the KlangNetz Dresden .

Since the 2017/18 season, up to 10 music students from the Carl Maria von Weber University of Music in Dresden have been able to gain their first professional experience at the Dresden Philharmonic as part of the Kurt Masur Academy.


The Dresden Philharmonic opened the concert hall within the Dresden Kulturpalast on April 28, 2017 after a construction period of over four years . Until then, from 2012 onwards she performed symphony concerts in the Albertinum and the Schauspielhaus , followed by a series of chamber concerts at Albrechtsberg Castle , concerts in the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden, family concerts, school concerts and special concerts in the Frauenkirche , the Kreuzkirche and on special occasions at other locations. Some of these venues will continue to be used. In addition, the orchestra tours all over the world and has an outstanding number of subscribers in Germany-wide comparison (more than 10,000).

Chief conductor


  • Dieter Härtwig : World premieres by the Dresden Philharmonic (1900–1934) , in: Dresden and advanced music in the 20th century. Part I: 1900-1933 , ed. by Matthias Herrmann and Hanns-Werner Heister, Laaber 1999, pp. 247–256 ( Musik in Dresden 4), ISBN 3-89007-346-8
  • Dieter Härtwig: From Horst Förster to Michel Plasson. New Music at the Dresden Philharmonic 1964–1999 , in: Dresden and advanced music in the 20th century. Part III: 1966-1999 , ed. by Matthias Herrmann and Stefan Weiss, Laaber 2004, pp. 211–242 ( Musik in Dresden 6), ISBN 3-89007-511-8

Web links

Commons : Dresdner Philharmonie  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Paul Schumann , Friedrich Kummer : Dresden and the Elbe area . Publishing house of the Association for the Promotion of Dresden and Tourism, 1918
  2. ^ Address book for Dresden and its suburbs, 1904
  3. ^ Marek Janowski. Dresden Philharmonic, accessed on August 9, 2019 .
  4. New customer, new design: Dresden Philharmonic. Preuss and Preuss, April 7, 2019, accessed on August 9, 2019 .
  5. The Philharmonic Choirs. Dresden Philharmonic, accessed on August 9, 2019 .
  6. ^ Kurt Masur Academy. Dresden Philharmonic, accessed on August 9, 2019 .
  7. Concert tours. Dresden Philharmonic, accessed on August 9, 2019 .