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Photo: Eberhard Hirsch

Paavo Järvi
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Die Sparkasse Bremen

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is one of the world's leading orchestras, delighting audiences throughout the world with its unique musical style. The Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi has been the orchestra's Artistic Director since 2004.

BBC Proms 2010
Photo: Chris Christodoulou

One of the many highlights of the ensemble's collaboration with Paavo Järvi has been their Beethoven Project, on which the conductor and orchestra concentrated for six years. Their Beethoven interpretations have been acclaimed worldwide by audiences and critics alike as benchmark performances. They have thrilled listeners in Paris, Tokyo, Strasbourg, Warsaw, at the Salzburg Festival, and the Beethovenfest Bonn with the complete cycle of nine Beethoven symphonies. The cycle was recorded on RCA and enthusiastically acclaimed by critics throughout the world. The TV and DVD documentary of the Beethoven Project produced by Deutsche Welle and Unitel was also greeted with a positive response, receiving numerous awards.

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi are currently focusing on Robert Schumann's symphonic works with equal success. After sensational triumphs in Tokyo and Saint Petersburg, in 2012 the Schumann cycles were also acclaimed at the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw and Vienna's Konzerthaus. A TV/DVD about the Schumann Project, produced by Deutsche Welle in cooperation with Unitel, arte, and Radio Bremen, has been released.

The orchestra received the ›Zukunftsaward‹ (Future Award) as ›best social innovation‹ in 2007 for its unique collaboration with the Gesamtschule Bremen-Ost (Bremen East Comprehensive School). In 2008 the ensemble was honored with the prestigious German Founders Award in the special award category for its successful combination of entrepreneurship and culture. In 2009 three of The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen's CD productions won ECHO Classic Awards.

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen appears with Paavo Järvi and other renowned guest conductors and internationally sought-after soloists at major festivals and concert venues throughout the world. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is Orchestra in Residence at the International Beethovenfest in Bonn and the Elbphilharmonie concerts Hamburg. The orchestra continually delights audiences with its unique and refreshing style of musical interpretation, combined with an unerring instinct for imaginative, well thought-out programs. The highly motivated chamber music-like approach of each player enables the ensemble to present outstanding concerts, even without a conductor.

On this basis, long-standing and productive musical friendships have developed with such internationally renowned soloists as Sabine Meyer, Viktoria Mullova, Heinz Holliger, Olli Mustonen, Hélène Grimaud, Heinrich Schiff, Janine Jansen, and Christian Tetzlaff.

The orchestra's repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary music. Collaboration with specialists in specific genres has been a characteristic feature of the ensemble from the start. Thus, its work with conductors like Ton Koopman and Trevor Pinnock is just as natural as its collaborations with Heinz Holliger and Pierre Boulez. In addition, the orchestra also continues to devote particular interest to ›crossover‹ projects.

With Gidon Kremer on a Japanese tour in 1991

History of the Orchestra: Founded in 1980, The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen initially consisted of a group of outstanding music students with a grassroots constitution, in order to motivate the individual members both personally and musically. Early acid tests, such as an appearance at the UN in 1983 and Gidon Kremer's invitation to Lockenhaus in 1984/85, laid the foundations for the orchestra's rapidly growing international reputation. In 1987 the ensemble was institutionalized as a professional chamber orchestra in Frankfurt.

Since 1992 The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen has been based in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, where it has become an indispensable part of the city's musical life. Every season the orchestra presents three subscription series, special concerts, three chamber music series, and the open-air festival ›Sommer in Lesmona.‹ The ensemble has also been an essential component of the Bremen Music Festival since 1998, appearing in outstanding musical theatrical productions with such artists as Klaus Maria Brandauer.

The orchestra's former Principal Guest Conductors or Artistic Directors have included Mario Venzago, Heinrich Schiff, Ji?í Belohlávek, and Thomas Hengelbrock. Daniel Harding held the post of Music Director from 1999 to 2003.

An early companion:
With Heinrich Schiff in the late 1980s

In addition to their concerts, educational projects have been particularly important to the musicians for 25 years. These include concert introductions and workshops as well as innovative collaborations with schools and adult education institutions.

The Wind Soloists of The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen have been a permanent ensemble since 1990. They undertake many tours within Germany and abroad and have recorded a number of award-winning CDs.

The orchestra's numerous CD recordings for prestigious record labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, Teldec, BMG, Virgin Classics, Decca, Berlin Classics, Sony BMG, and PentaTone document the diverse activities of The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. The first CD of the Beethoven cycle with Paavo Järvi won the prestigious German Record Critics' Annual Award for 2007. Three CDs by The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen received ECHO Classic awards in 2009. In 2010 The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie will be recognized with the Certificate of Special Merit of the German Record Critics' Award for its outstanding achievements in the recording field, the first orchestra to receive this award.

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen moved into its new rehearsal rooms in the Gesamtschule Bremen-Ost (Bremen East Comprehensive School) in April 2007. The musicians and students work side-by-side at the school - a unique situation worldwide. In this ›future lab‹ many new projects and cooperative programs are developed with the school which have an impact on the neighborhood and the entire city of Bremen. The orchestra and the school received the Zukunftsaward (Future Award) 2007 as the ›best social innovation‹ in recognition of their outstanding commitment. The television station ARD documented this unique ›residential community‹ in a 45-minute film entitled Beethoven, Rap, and Dreams. The new rehearsal hall also offers a wide range of possibilities as a venue for public events and a recording studio with SACD quality. Two of the three ECHO Classic award-winning CDs for 2009 were recorded there.

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is organized as a company in which the musicians are sole partners. Thus, they assume full responsibility not only for artistic but for financial matters as well. This is all the more remarkable since the orchestra is only 39% subsidized and generates the remaining 61% itself.

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen has analyzed its artistic and entrepreneurial activities with Prof. Dr. Christian Scholz of the University of Saarbrücken, one of the leading experts on the subject of high-performance teams. Based on the findings of this study, a management tool, the 5 Seconds Model, was developed, which the company orchestra uses to optimize its (high) performance on a continuing basis. Together with Prof. Dr. Scholz, the orchestra now offers the 5 Seconds Model to interested companies from the business and industrial sectors as management training for executives. In 2008, The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen received the German Founders Award, which is presented by the television station ZDF, the magazine Stern, Porsche, and the Sparkasse savings bank group »for the successful combination of entrepreneurship and culture: a leading orchestra with the highest standard of quality, which at the same time does musical youth work in a disadvantaged area.«

The loyal support of partners and sponsors, such as the orchestra's primary sponsors, Kraft Foods, now Mondelez International, the Bremen Sparkasse and Kaefer Isoliertechnik, plays a vital role in the tremendous success of The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. The work of the orchestra would not be possible, however, without the generous assistance of the City of Bremen in particular. In addition, numerous other friends and patrons also support the orchestra's projects and make an essential contribution to ensuring that The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen can continue to work toward achieving its artistic goals on a long-term basis.

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