How it all began

The Junge Deutsche Philharmonie

1980

Wyk auf Föhr · Friederike Latzko and Richard Duven establish the ›Kammerorchester der Jungen Deutschen Philharmonie‹ – a democratically run ensemble of music students. Over the next three years, the musicians meet up regularly to prepare concert programmes that can be offered to promoters. Four of the founding members still play in the Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen: Ulrike Rüben, Hanna Nebelung, Friederike Latzko and Klaus Heidemann.

1983

New York · The Junge Deutsche Philharmonie gives a notable performance at the United Nations in New York City.

1984/1985

Austria · Gidon Kremer invites the orchestra to perform at the prestigious Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival in the Burgenland region.

Frankfurt

The ›Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie‹

1987

Frankfurt am Main · Having received its first funding from the City of Frankfurt and Deutsche Bank, the orchestra is re-established as a ›Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts‹ (civil law partnership). It changes its name to ›Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie‹, intended to convey the idea of a medium-sized ensemble that combines the transparent, refined sound of a chamber orchestra with the rich sound of a philharmonic orchestra. The size and line-up of the ensemble varies according to the repertoire being played: sometimes the Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie works with supplementary musicians to perform as a full-size philharmonic orchestra; at others its members form a small string ensemble.

In the following years, thanks to long-term funding agreements, the Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie is able to present a first series of subscription concerts in the Mozart Hall of Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, which quickly become popular with concert audiences. The young orchestra also organizes a regular programme of pre-concert introductions and workshops.

International tours and recordings follow, often featuring world-renowned soloists.

The appointment of the Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie’s first principal guest conductor is a key development during this phase, as the musicians originally chose to work without a head conductor – where possible, all artistic decisions are taken jointly by the members of the orchestra. Under the leadership of Mario Venzago (1988/89) and Heinrich Schiff (1990–92) the ensemble continues to develop into a highly successful orchestra. Further collaborations with specialists in historically informed performance practice such as Jaap ter Linden and Frans Brüggen, or with the likes of Sándor Végh, who performed chamber music with Pablo Casals and Wilhelm Furtwängler, also have a lasting influence on the musicians‘ creative approach.

1988

The Swiss conductor Mario Venzago is the first Permanent Guest Conductor. Under his direction, the Kammer­philharmonie above all delves into the works of the Second Viennese School.

1990

Members of the Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie establish the Wind Soloists, a wind octet dedicated to performing chamber music. The ensemble goes on to be highly successful and wins numerous awards over the following decades.

The cellist and conductor Heinrich Schiff becomes Principal Guest Conductor. Together with the renowned instrumentalist, the orchestra devotes itself increasingly to the classical repertoire. The first two CDs of Beethoven symphonies are products of the collaboration with Heinrich Schiff.

1991

Japan and New York · The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie embarks on its first tour of Japan and the United States with Gidon Kremer, during which it makes its debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Bremen

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen

1992

Bremen · The orchestra relocates from Frankfurt am Main to Bremen on the river Weser, where it continues on its chosen path. Having secured long-term support from the City of Bremen, while remaining autonomous in terms of musical programming, it works towards its goal of becoming a world-class ensemble. Now operating under the name The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen, the orchestra presents two subscription series and two chamber music series.

1993

Jirí Belohlávek, a specialist for the Czech masters as well as the eras of Romanticism and Impressionism, works together with the orchestra as Principal Conductor.

1995

Bremen, Knoops Park · The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen inaugurates an open-air festival in the city’s Knoops Park under the heading ›Summer in Lesmona‹. The classical music festival becomes an extremely popular annual event that draws audiences from far and wide.

Thomas Hengelbrock becomes the first Artistic Director of The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen. Under his direction, the orchestra builds on its considerable successes and expands its stylistic range to include period instruments and historically informed playing techniques.

On its tour of the United States, The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen impresses audiences at Tanglewood and at the legendary Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, among others.

1998

The orchestra becomes an established presence at the Musikfest Bremen, where it also performs in musical theatre productions with the likes of Klaus Maria Brandauer.

1999

Daniel Harding is appointed Music Director, a post he holds until 2003. During his tenure The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen makes its international breakthrough, winning over audiences, critics and promoters on its extensive concert tours and with recordings of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Berlioz and Milhaud, among others.

Albert Schmitt becomes the orchestra’s Managing Director and oversees the process of turning the ensemble into a business enterprise.

Daniel Harding receives an Echo Klassik award in the category Newcomer of the Year.

2002

The orchestra is established as a ›gemeinnützige Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung‹ (non-profit limited liability company). As sole partners, the musicians assume full responsibility for both the financial and the artistic direction of the company, and with this organizational structure the orchestra achieves an exceptional self-financing ratio (61 percent in 2012, today around 70 percent).

Taking the lead with Paavo Järvi

Around the world with ›Bremen’s Beethoven‹

2004

Paavo Järvi, who has worked with the orchestra on several occasions since 1995, is appointed Artistic Director. Under his leadership The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen establishes itself as a leading international orchestra.

The first milestone achievement in their collaboration is the ›Beethoven Project‹ – the performance and high-quality recording of all nine of Ludwig van Beethoven’s symphonies.

The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen performs regularly in concert halls and at festivals throughout the world with Paavo Järvi and other internationally acclaimed guest conductors and soloists.

2005

Bonn · The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen becomes ›Orchestra in Residence‹ at the international Beethovenfest Bonn, a position it will hold for the next 10 years.

2006

Yokohama · First performance of all nine Beethoven symphonies over three days. During the following years the orchestra electrifies audiences in Lanaudière (Canada), Strasbourg, Paris, Salzburg, Bonn, Warsaw and São Paulo with further performances of the complete cycle.

2007

Bremen, Osterholz-Tenever · In April The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen moves into a new rehearsal space at the Bremen East Comprehensive School. The simply but purposefully converted space in this comprehensive school not only offers excellent rehearsal conditions, it also enables the musicians to make top-quality recordings on high-resolution SACD. Two of their six CDs that have won Echo Klassik awards were recorded here.

In this new location in the socially deprived district of Bremen Osterholz-Tenever, close links are quickly established between the orchestra, the school and the local community. As part of the orchestra’s award-winning Future Lab initiative, the musicians work together with teachers, pupils and local residents on music-based community projects that are designed to have a lasting impact, such as the stage show ›Melody of Life‹ and the annual ›Community Opera‹. These projects aim to improve prospects for young people and empower other members of the local community. Such commitment wins the orchestra the Zukunftsaward 2007 – for employing music as a motivational tool for personal development, but also as a catalyst for the development of communities such as the orchestra, the school and the local population.

Later this year, The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen wins the prestigious German Record Critics’ Annual Award (Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik).

2008

The orchestra wins the special prize at Deutscher Gründerpreis, awarded by ZDF, Stern, Porsche and the German savings banks group (Sparkassen) for outstanding entrepreneurial achievements.

2009

Another three of the orchestra’s CD releases win Echo Klassik awards.

The fourth decade

World-class in all respects

2010

Hamburg · The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen becomes ›Orchestra in Residence‹ at the Elbphilharmonie Konzerte – a position it has now held for six years.

Deutsche Welle produces a DVD recording of the orchestra’s performance of all nine Beethoven symphonies, as well as an award-winning music documentary on the ›Beethoven Project‹.

The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen becomes the first orchestra ever to receive the prestigious German Record Critics’ Certificate of Special Merit (Ehrenpreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik) for outstanding achievement in the field of recording.

The orchestra also receives the Bremer Stadtmusikantenpreis for its services to the community and collaboration with the Gesamtschule Bremen-Ost.

2011

The orchestra produces a new interpretation of Robert Schumann’s symphonies under the baton of its artistic director Paavo Järvi. This ›Schumann Project‹ becomes a further focal point of this musical collaboration. The first CD of symphonies 3 and 1 appears the same year.

The Foundation ›die schwelle‹ recognizes The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen’s ›Community Opera‹ as an exemplary initiative and confers on it the 5th International Bremen Peace Award.

2012

Deutsche Welle produces a DVD recording of The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen performing all four Schumann symphonies in a former shipyard building in the port of Bremen, as well as ›Schumann at Pier2‹, the second music documentary featuring the orchestra.

The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen’s Future Lab initiative receives the Echo Klassik Jury Award for Fostering Young Talent in Classical Music.

The Schumann Symphony cycle is performed at the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw and at the Konzerthaus in Vienna.

The second of the Schumann cycle CDs, with the second symphony and overtures, is released.

2013

The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen receives the Vision Award – the »Nobel Prize for Social Entrepreneurship«; further recognition of its pioneering work fostering a culture of unlocking potential.

The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen receives  the Start Youth Art Foundation Award of the Year 2012 for the ›Melody of Life‹.

2014

The third of the Schumann cycle CDs, with Symphony No. 4 and the Konzertstück for Four Horns, is released.

In June, the orchestra accepts an invitation from Germany’s President Joachim Gauk and performs at Bellevue under its Artistic Director Paavo Järvi.

The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen adds the overtures to its Beethoven cycle. The CD is released in October on RCA.

In November, The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen receives the Jeunesse Musicale Würth Prize »…in recognition of its work, its exemplary projects for both district and young people, and in appreciation of its corporate culture«.

The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen’s CD recording of Louis Spohr’s Oratorio ›The last Things‹ with conductor Frieder Bernius and the Stuttgart Chamber Choir receives the German Record Critics’ Prize.

2015

The Cross of Merit on the ribbon of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany is conferred on Albert Schmitt by Federal President Joachim Gauck at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin.

The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen founds an academy for young musicians with the aim to prepare outstanding, visionary instrumentalists for successful careers as musicians in the cultural landscape of the 21st century.

The French music magazine Diapason confers its Diapason D’Or on The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen’s recording of Symphony No. 4 by Robert Schumann.

Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Lima – the orchestra goes on a spring tour of South America with the acclaimed Pekka Kuusisto as soloist and concertmaster on the programme.

The recording of The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen’s Beethoven overtures under Paavo Järvi receives the Diapason d’Or in June.

First performances of Brahms’ entire Symphony cycle in St. Petersburg and at the Rheingau Music Festival in Wiesbaden. A CD-sampler appears, with highlights from the Beethoven and Schumann cycles, as well as new recordings of the Hungarian Dances Nos. 1, 3 & 10 by Johannes Brahms.

Paavo Järvi is named ›Artist of the Year‹ by one of the most important classical music awards, the Gramophone Classical Music Award.

The official launch of The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen’s Brahms Project with Paavo Järvi incorporating concerts in Bremen, Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris and Baden-Baden.

2016

The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen is named first ›Orchestra of the Year‹ by Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

With its recording of all nine Beethoven symphonies, the Kammer­philharmonie takes first place ahead of the competition in the ranking of the internationally respected Japanese trade magazine Record Geijutsu.

2017

The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen is appointed festival orchestra at the Kissinger Sommer festival.

In the autumn, the orchestra embarks on its first China tour. In cities such as Macau, Beijing and Shanghai, The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen plays the complete Beethoven cycle and receives standing ovations from the audiences.

In October, the first CD of the Brahms cycle is released featuring the 2nd Symphony together with the Tragic Overture and the Academic Festival Overture.

The Future Lab celebrates its tenth anniversary with three concerts in the ›Kammer-Philharmonie‹. The programme has best-of highlights from the ›Community Opera‹ and ›Melody of Life‹, cultural encounters & songs from Osterholz-Tenever.

In December, principal conductor Paavo Järvi is immortalized in bronze in the Bremen ›Mall of Fame‹.