bamberger symphoniker

resonating worldwide

Bamberger Symphoniker
© Michael Trippel

The Bamberg Symphony

The Bamberg Symphony is the only orchestra of world renown that is not based in a vibrant metropolis. Almost 10% of the local population subscribe to one of the orchestra's five concert series, in many cases for decades. However, the "magnetic effect" of the orchestra goes above all outward: the traveling orchestra has been carrying its characteristically dark, somber and warm sound and the musical echo of its hometown into the world since 1946. With almost 7,500 concerts in over 500 cities and 63 countries, they have become a cultural ambassador for Bavaria and the whole of Germany. They regularly tour the USA, South America, Japan and China, for example, and are invited by renowned concert halls and festivals worldwide. The Bamberg Symphony therefore describe their mission in short words as Resonating worldwide.

Bamberg - Blick von Geyerswoerth zum Dom
© Peter Eberts

The circumstances of its founding make the Bamberg Symphony a mirror of German history: in 1946, former members of the German Philharmonic Orchestra Prague met colleagues in Bamberg who had also had to flee their homeland as a result of the war and post-war turmoil. Starting with the Prague orchestra, its lines of tradition can be traced back to the 19th and 18th centuries. Thus the roots of the Bamberg Symphony reach back to Mahler and Mozart. Since 2004, the orchestra has held the honorary title of Bavarian State Philharmonic Orchestra and is substantially financed by the Free State of Bavaria.

Four principal conductors, Joseph Keilberth, James Loughran, Horst Stein and Jonathan Nott, as well as Artistic Director Eugen Jochum have led the orchestra since 1946. With the Czech Jakub Hrůša, the fifth principal conductor since 2016, a bridge has been built again between the historical roots of the Bamberg Symphony and its present day, more than 75 years after the orchestra was founded. They regularly perform with their honorary conductors Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph Eschenbach and Manfred Honeck, as well as with other leading conductors such as Andris Nelsons and Lahav Shani.

A not insignificant contribution to the worldwide high profile of the Bamberg Symphony has also been made by countless concert broadcasts in cooperation with the Bavarian Radio (BR) as well as radio, record and CD productions.

Since 2022, the Bamberg Symphony has set itself the goal of acting and traveling in a more climate-friendly manner, e.g., using means of transportation powered by alternative energy sources. For larger tours and trips abroad, efforts are being made to optimize travel routes and tour procedures. Increasingly, the orchestra stays in one country or place for longer periods, e.g., to play residencies or realize educational projects with local artists. By financially supporting environmental projects, including those in concert locations, the orchestra attempts to offset most of the CO2 emissions caused by its travels itself.