STUTTGART STATE ORCHESTRA
The Württemberg Stuttgart State Orchestra has a history of over four hundred years, established in 1589 as the Court Orchestra of Württemberg. Over the generations there have been collaborations with musicians of distinction, among them Leonhard Lechner, the Frobergers, Niccolò Jommelli, Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg, Konradin Kreutzer, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Carl Maria von Weber. Berlioz praised the orchestra, when he appeared with it as conductor, and in the 1880s Stuttgart was one of the first to stage the complete Ring cycle, conducted by the then general music director Herman Zumpe, who had assisted Wagner at the first Bayreuth Festival.
The tradition of first performances has included the première of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos in 1912, conducted by the composer, in 1921 of a one-acter by Hindemith, and in recent times works by Orff, Penderecki, Glass, Zender, Riehm and Hölszky. In the twentieth century there was collaboration with Fritz Busch, Carl Leonhardt, Franz Konwitschny, Hans Swarowsky and Herbert Albert, and in particular with Max von Schillings and Ferdinand Leitner, and in more recent years with conductors such as Carlos Kleiber, Vaclav Neumann, Silvio Varviso, Janos Kulka, Dennis Russell Davies, Garcia Navarro und Gabriele Ferro as music directors and conductor, and as guests, Georg Solti, Carlo Maria Giulini and Riccardo Chailly. Lothar Zagrosek took over the helm of the orchestra in 1997, and has been responsible for a number of important and innovative performances.
In 2002 the orchestra was named Orchestra of the Year by Opernwelt. The work of the orchestra has included recordings and DVDs, in addition to symphony concerts and chamber music performed by members of the orchestra.