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 orchestra’s latest project addresses the symphonic works of Johannes Brahms.


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 is again turning its attention to the oeuvre of the Bonn-born maestro. Together with legendary pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja, the ensemble will be interpreting Beethoven’s piano concertos. In addition, they will be performing the complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies on a number of international concert stages – and for the very first time, the orchestra will play all nine symphonies in his native city within the scope 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 between Paavo Järvi and The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen has focused on Johannes Brahms’ symphonic works to similar worldwide acclaim. »A Brahm’s revelation« was how the New York Times 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, featuring the 2nd Symphony together with the Tragic Overture and the Academic Festival Overture, was released on Sony/RCA, and was awarded the Opus Klassik in October 2018. One highlight of the ›Brahms Project‹ was the performance of the Requiem in Bremen Cathedral on 10 April 2018. Precisely 150 years to the day since the première of ›A German Requiem‹ (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. In October 2018, the second CD of the cycle followed, featuring the 1st Symphony and Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn. In March 2019, the third and last CD in the Brahms cycle, featuring symphonies three and four, was released. 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 Kammer­philharmonie Bremen and its Artistic Director Paavo Järvi. ›The Brahms Code‹ has been nominated by a jury of experts for the prestigious Annual German Record Critics’ Prize. In April 2020, the fascinating music documentary featuring the symphonies of Johannes Brahms was presented with the New York Festivals Silver Award.