Staatskapelle Dresden

Staatskapelle Dresden
Founded 1548
Concert hall Semperoper
Principal conductor Christian Thielemann

The Staatskapelle Dresden (officially known in German as the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden) is an orchestra based in Dresden, Germany founded in 1548 by Maurice, Elector of Saxony. It is one of the world's oldest orchestras. The precursor ensemble was Die Kurfürstlich-Sächsische und Königlich-Polnische Kapelle (The Saxony Elector and Royal Polish Band).

The orchestra is the musical body of the Sächsische Staatsoper (Saxon State Opera). Venue of the orchestra is the Semperoper opera house.


The orchestra has had many eminent chief conductors. Heinrich Schütz was associated with it early in its existence, and in the nineteenth century Carl Maria von Weber and Richard Wagner were both chief conductors.

In the twentieth century, Richard Strauss became closely associated with the orchestra as both conductor and composer, which premiered several of his works. Karl Böhm and Hans Vonk were notable among the orchestra's chief conductors in that they served as chief conductors of both the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and the State Opera simultaneously. Herbert Blomstedt was musical director of the Staatskapelle from 1975 to 1985.


In 1990, the Staatskapelle elected Colin Davis as its first (and so far only) 'conductor laureate', a position that he held until his death in 2013.[1]

Giuseppe Sinopoli was chief conductor from 1992 until his sudden death in 2001. Bernard Haitink replaced him in August 2002, but resigned in 2004 over disputes with the Staatskapelle's Intendant, Gerd Uecker, on the orchestra's choice of successor.[2] In August 2007 Fabio Luisi began his tenure as chief conductor after having appointed as far back as January 2004. He shared with Böhm and Vonk the historic distinction of being chief conductor of both the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and the Sächsische Staatsoper simultaneously. Luisi was scheduled to step down as chief conductor in 2012 in accord with the October 2009 announcement of Christian Thielemann as the orchestra's next chief conductor, effective with the 2012-2013 season.[3] But Luisi resigned as chief conductor of the Staatskapelle in February 2010, effective immediately, after reports that the management had secured a contract with the ZDF network for a scheduled televised concert on New Year's Eve 2011 without consulting him at all in his capacity as the orchestra's GMD.[4]

The orchestra has named Myung-Whun Chung as its first-ever principal guest conductor, effective as of the 2012–2013 season.[5]

In 2007, the orchestra inaugurated the post of Capell-Compositeur or composer-in-residence, each appointed composer holding the post for one concert season. The first Capell-Compositeur was Isabel Mundry; and for the 2011–12 season, Lera Auerbach.[6]

In April 2007, the European Cultural Foundation awarded the orchestra a prize "zur Bewahrung des musikalischen Weltkulturerbes" (for preservation of the world's musical heritage"). In June 2011, the orchestra was announced as the new resident orchestra of the Salzburg Easter Festival, as of 2013.[5]

Kapellmeister and Chief Conductors


See also


  1. Staatskapelle Concert plan 2012-13 p 16
  2. Andrew Clark (2004-10-22). "Bernard Haitink: unfinished symphony". Financial Times. Retrieved 2007-05-05.
  3. "Christian Thielemann wird Chefdirigent der Staatskapelle Dresden" (Press release). Staatskapelle Dresden. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
  4. Daniel J. Wakin (2010-02-04). "Saxon State Opera's Music Director Quits". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
  5. 1 2 "Staatskapelle Dresden to become orchestra for the Salzburg Easter Festival, and Christian Thielemann the festival's Artistic Director" (Press release). Staatskapelle Dresden. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-11.
  6. "Capell-Compositeur 2011/2012". Staatskapelle Dresden. Retrieved 22 December 2011.

External links

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