Staatskapelle Hall

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Logo of the Staatskapelle Halle

The Staatskapelle Halle is a symphony orchestra and orchestra for opera and ballet in Halle (Saale) . With around 150 musicians, it is one of the largest orchestras in Germany. The orchestra emerged in 2006 from the Philharmonic State Orchestra Halle and the Orchestra of the Halle Opera House .


City, court and university orchestras

Since the founding of the court orchestra of Duke August von Sachsen in 1654, the tradition of minstrels has lost its importance. In 1789 the Hyntzsche Hautboisten-Compagnie and the town musicians were merged. Johann Christoph Wansleben became city music director and chairman of the Combined City Musicians Society. In 1700 the Prussian king enforced a theater ban. Since 1779 concert series have been brought into being under the direction of Daniel Gottlob Türk . Johann Christian Reil opened the Wittekind brine bath in 1809. From 1811 to 1828 the Weimar court orchestra played in the school church . In 1833 the town music was reorganized under Georg Schmidt . The chapel was enlarged and renamed the Town Music Corps. It played both mountain concerts and operas. In 1852 the town music corps became the Halle town orchestra consisting of 30 musicians. Wilhelm Halle gave it the name city and theater orchestra in 1881.

Theater and opera orchestras

In 1897 Max Richards became theater director. He founded a municipal theater orchestra consisting of 17 musicians. In 1907 he founded the Hallesche Orchester-Vereinigung. The music scene in Halle flourished under Eduard Mörike and important conductors were hired, such as Arthur Nikisch , Felix Mottl , Richard Strauss , Siegfried Wagner and Felix Weingartner . The orchestral association was dissolved again in 1910 despite its success. In 1925, other German orchestras were invited to continue playing. In 1934 the Stadttheater-Orchester was renamed the Städtisches Orchester under Bruno Vondenhoff , the first general music director. On March 31, 1945 the theater was destroyed. In 1948 the State Theater of Saxony-Anhalt was founded. The new artistic director Horst-Tanu Margraf was responsible for the care of Handel. In 1957 the orchestra was named the Handel Festival Orchestra. Kurt Masur , Klaus Tennstedt and Olaf Koch held the position of Kapellmeister in the following years. The conductors Thomas Sanderling and Volker Rohde continued the Handel tradition. At the concerts were u. a. Klaus Tennstedt, Heinz Bongartz , André Rieu senior, Kurt Masur, David and Igor Oistrach , Wilhelm Kempff , Emil Gilels , Gidon Kremer , Ruggiero Ricci and Wladimir Spiwakow are guests. In 1972 the state entertainment orchestra was taken over by the state theater. Christian Kluttig was General Music Director from 1979 to 1990. In 1990 the Handel Festival Orchestra merged with the entertainment orchestra. This was followed by the directors Wolfgang Balzer , Johan M. Arnell and Roger Epple .

Symphonic orchestra and philharmonic orchestra

Opera House Halle (2009)

In 1946 Arthur Bohnhardt founded the Hallische Volkssinfonieorchester (later a symphony orchestra). He managed it until it fell out with politics at the time and emigrated to West Berlin in 1949. Walter Schartner , the former music director of the State Theater in Halle, took over his position. On September 19, 1949, the rights concert with 52 musicians took place. In 1950 the Kapellmeister Heinz Hofmann moved into the office on a provisional basis, as his predecessor switched to the Weimar Academy of Music. A little later Werner Gößling became director of the orchestra. It has now been increased to 64 musicians. In 1954 the orchestra was renamed State Symphony Orchestra Halle . Horst Förster initiated a phase of international recognition since 1956. At the 1000th anniversary of the city of Halle in 1961, the symphony orchestra held the gala concert. In 1967 Olaf Koch became chief conductor. After reunification, the state of Saxony-Anhalt took over sovereignty over cultural policy. Heribert Beissel took over the artistic direction. He was followed by Bernhard Klee , Wolf-Dieter Hauschild and Heribert Esser .

The orchestra goes on tour and makes guest appearances. a. in the Salzburger Festspielhaus , in the Tonhalle Zurich , the Berlin Philharmonie and in the Konzerthaus Berlin , in the Hamburg Music Hall , the Cologne Philharmonic , in the Gasteig in Munich and in the Prinzregententheater . It also took them to Italy, France, Belgium, Israel, Spain and Japan.

Staatskapelle Hall

The Staatskapelle Halle, founded in 2006 by the merger of the Philharmonic State Orchestra with the Handel Festival Orchestra (HFO), the orchestra of the opera house. The operating concept for the establishment of the Staatskapelle Halle was drafted to maintain the permanent positions, the unanimously elected chairwoman of the Halle Music Council and opera director at the Halle / Saale opera house, Dr. Valerie Hennecke in consultation with the orchestra management. She also performed the orchestral tours. Kim Ry Andersen , Administrative Director of the Halle / Saale Opera House, designed the fundamentals for the financing of the founding concept .

The Staatskapelle Halle plays in the concert hall as well as in the opera house, thus continuing the tradition of both orchestras, which dates back to the 19th century. Eminent conductors such as Horst-Tanu Margraf, Kurt Masur , Klaus Tennstedt, Olaf Koch, Horst Förster, Hartmut Haenchen , Heribert Beissel, Roger Epple, Bernhard Klee, Wolf-Dieter Hauschild and Johan M. Arnell from the Deutsche Oper Berlin are in their Chronicle received. From 2008 to 2013 Karl-Heinz Steffens was General Music Director , followed by Josep Caballé-Domenech.

Leading soloists such as the pianists Elena Bashkirova , Daniel Barenboim and Martin Stadtfeld , the violinists Alina Pogostkina and Guy Braunstein , the cellist David Geringas , the soprano Angela Denoke , the baritone Roman Trekel and the bassist Robert Holl as well as renowned guest conductors such as Wayne Marshall and Michael Sanderling and Oleg Caetani have recently given concerts with the Staatskapelle. The Halle Handel Festival Orchestra, which has been playing historical instruments since 1993, forms part of the Staatskapelle. The union of 319 musicians was conceived by the Halle Opera House in 1992 in order to maintain the Handel Festival Orchestra with 109 musicians and to allow the musicians a period of time to reformat.

The fact that the musicians belong to a concert and opera orchestra playing on modern instruments is unique in the German music scene. As a special ensemble for early music, the orchestra, which has been directed by Bernhard Forck since 2007 , continues the tradition of Handel care that has existed for decades in Halle. In the 2012/2013 season, the Handel Festival Orchestra will take part in the staging of the interlude “ Dorina e Nibbio ” by Domenico Sarro and Lucia Ronchetti at the Semperoper Dresden. The development of the orchestra by GMD Johann M. Arnell after the fall of the Wall was groundbreaking . Under his musical direction, the administrative director Kim Ry Andersen and the opera director Dr. Valerie Hennecke, the first federally funded collaborations and guest performances could be carried out with “no budget”. The first cooperation with the Gewandhaus Leipzig and the first guest performance of the Handel Festival Orchestra in Leipzig - after 7 years of being banned from the GDR - was the turning point in 1992 with the premiere of "ELIAS" by the Dutch Handel Association with Thomas Quasthoff , Miranda van Kralingen and 134 choristers. This is followed by invitations to the Cologne Philharmonic , Philharmonic Berlin , Brühl Palace Concerts, Bad Kissinger Sommer . The Staatskapelle Halle u. a. to Florence, Genoa, Turin, Ravello, Seoul, Strasbourg, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Linz, Cologne, Berlin and to the Neuschwanstein Castle Concerts, Weilburg Castle Concerts and Choriner Music Summer . The Staatskapelle was given a special honor by staging the Federal President's Concert in September 2012 in the Georg-Friedrich-Händel HALLE. In the 2012/2013 season, the cyclical performance of the tetralogy “ Der Ring des Nibelungen ” by Richard Wagner in March 2013 in the Halle Opera under the musical direction of GMD Karl-Heinz Steffens marks the climax of the work that began in 2010 with “ Das RheingoldOpus magnum in coproduction with Ludwigshafen.

In addition to the extensive concert activities and the varied opera program, the Staatskapelle is involved with a wide range of music education for families and schoolchildren, supports the Youth Symphony Orchestra Saxony-Anhalt in its work phases, cultivates new and contemporary music and cooperates with the ambitious IMPULS festival.

The Staatskapelle Halle is also responsible for the interpretation of some soundtracks for video games, such as the German Anno series and the action game Alan Wake by the Finnish developer Remedy and the dedicated composer Petri Alanko .


In 1992 the merged orchestra had 319 posts. At the end of 2014, the Music Information Center of the German Music Council listed the Staatskapelle Halle with 121 permanent positions. According to the new five-year contract between city and country, at least 99 of them should be retained.


Robert Franz Singing Academy

The second oldest singing academy in Germany is dedicated to Handel's music. In 1953 the choir merged with the State Symphony Orchestra Halle.

Stadtsingechor zu Halle

The almost 900 year old city singing choir regularly takes part in the Handel Festival.

Collegium Instrumental Hall

The collegium instrumentale was founded in 1959. It performed at the Handel Festival and received the Handel Prize in 1964 . The ensemble enjoyed special support between 1972 and 1989 under the concertmaster Manfred Otte . The orchestra has made several guest appearances in Germany, Switzerland and Spain.

Arkadi Marasch has headed the collegium instrumentale since 1991 .

Handel Festival Orchestra

The Halle Handel Festival Orchestra is integrated into the Staatskapelle Halle . This special ensemble for early music has dedicated itself to cultivating the Baroque in the city of George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) and is responsible for the musical design of the Handel Festival in Halle every year . Historical instruments have been played since 1993. The orchestra achieved renown under the direction of the British conductor Howard Arman (* 1954). The festival orchestra stages the annual Handel operas and plays the opening concert of the Handel Festival. Outside the festival season, it has performances in Halle as part of a concert subscription and a chamber music series.

Guest appearances of the ensemble were u. a. in Perelada (Spain), Innsbruck, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Berlin and Leipzig. South Korea, Belgium and South Tyrol / Italy will be visited in the future. The orchestra works with Nicholas McGegan , Paul McCreesh , Paul Goodwin , Marcus Creed , Michael Schneider and Fabio Biondi . Several CD and DVD recordings were made.

In 2007 Bernhard Forck (* 1963) took over the musical direction.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Article in the MDZ
  2. Entry on