Major projects

Collective works and inquiring minds

With Artistic Director Paavo Järvi, the orchestra embarked in 2004 on a multi-award-winning musical voyage of discovery. Their joint projects, in which they intensively dedicate themselves to and meticulously analyse the cyclical works of a single composer, have been crowned with resounding success around the world. The first of these collaborations produced new interpretations of the symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven, which many today still widely consider to be benchmark performances and recordings. Following Beethoven, they turned their attention to the works of Robert Schumann, which similarly took the world by storm. The musicians have also earned acclaim from Hamburg to New York for the refreshing interpretations of their current major project, the works of Johannes Brahms, and have long been regarded as the »best understanders of Brahms« (Hamburger Abendblatt). In addition, the orchestra is currently devoting itself to an important figure of Viennese Classicism: Joseph Haydn.


The »best Beethoven in the world«

Hailed as »groundbreaking«, the orchestra’s interpretations of the orchestral works of Ludwig van Beethoven were a first major milestone on this journey. Cyclic performances of all nine Beethoven symphonies electrified audiences in Tokyo, Yokohama (Japan), Lanaudière (Canada), Strasbourg, Paris, at the Salzburg Festival, the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, in Warsaw, São Paulo as well as in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.  The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen also received numerous awards for the CD recording of their ›Beethoven made in Bremen‹ released on RCA, including the Echo Klassik 2010 and – as the first orchestra ever – the honorary prize of the German Record Critics’ Award. In 2018, the recordings of The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie with Paavo Järvi were ranked first by the Japanese music journal ›Record Geijutsu‹, way ahead of all other internationally renowned orchestras. ›Beethoven made in Bremen‹ thus became the ›best Beethoven of all time‹.

To mark the Beethoven anniversary year in 2020, The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie again focused its attention on the oeuvre of the Bonn-born maestro. At the invitation of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the orchestra marked the start of the Beethoven anniversary year in December 2019 at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin. In 2020, all nine symphonies of the ›Beethoven made in Bremen‹ appeared on a CD new edition. In addition, several performances of the complete symphony cycle were planned – including in the orchestra’s home city. However, the concerts had to be postponed due to the pandemic, but now the long-awaited performance of the Beethoven cycle will take place in the summer of 2022 as part of the Musikfest Bremen.


A »phenomenal« Schumann

Following the ›Beethoven Project‹, the orchestra and its artistic director brought the same passion to their ›Schumann Project‹ – their interpretation and performance of the symphonic works of Robert Schumann, which proved to be equally successful. After sensational triumphs in Tokyo and St. Petersburg, in 2012 the orchestra also gave acclaimed cyclic performances of the Schumann symphonies at the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw and Vienna’s Konzerthaus. The CD recordings of the 1st and 3rd Symphonies were listed by the music magazine Gramophone as one of the best Schumann recordings of the past five years. The French music magazine Diapason awarded the last CD recording its prestigious ›Diapason d’Or‹. In autumn 2012, the TV/DVD documentary about the ›Schumann Project‹ produced by Deutsche Welle in cooperation with Unitel, arte and Radio Bremen received several awards. In December 2018, the outstanding Schumann recordings were released as a special edition produced by star designer Peter Schmidt: ›Schumann on vinyl‹.


A Brahms revelation!

Since 2015, the collaboration with principal conductor Paavo Järvi has focused on Johannes Brahms’ symphonic works and has also enjoyed worldwide acclaim. »A Brahm’s revelation« was how The New Yorker described the fresh interpretation of the Hanseatic master. The cycle of the four symphonies has already been performed in St. Petersburg, at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, at the Rheingau Music Festival in Wiesbaden and most recently in Paris in 2018 at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées. In October 2017, the first CD of the cycle was released (Sony/RCA), which was awarded an Opus Klassik, and in 2018 and 2019 the completion of the Brahms cycle followed with the release of further recordings. The Bremen Brahms is »a benchmark recording,« wrote Die Zeit.

One highlight of the ›Brahms Project‹ was the performance of ›A German Requiem‹ in Bremen Cathedral on 10 April 2018. Precisely 150 years to the day since the work premièred (10 April 1868) in Bremen’s St. Peter’s Cathedral, The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen and its Artistic Director Paavo Järvi paid homage to the German composer. The concert recording was released on DVD in April 2020. In October 2019, the music documentary ›The Brahms Code‹ celebrated its big screen première in Berlin. Christian Berger’s third film about the orchestra documents the unique approach taken by The Deutsche Kammephilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi. ›The Brahms Code‹ was included in the German Record Critics’ Award’s ›Quarterly Critics’ Choice‹ list and in April 2020 was presented with the New York Festivals Silver Award.


Highly spirited Haydn

While the Brahms cycle and the intensive exploration of this composer’s works is still ongoing, the orchestra is turning its attention to another composer: Austrian-born Joseph Haydn. At Paavo Järvi’s special request, the musicians will focus on the 12 London symphonies by this composer, dubbed by his contemporaries as the »Shakespeare of music«. The first concerts could be heard in the autumn of 2021, among other places in Vienna, which the audience in the Austrian capital »greeted with calls of encore and long applause« (Wiener Zeitung). And the Bremen ‘dream team’ also thrilled audiences at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie: »This is how spirited Haydn should sound,« lauded the Hamburger Abendblatt.