The Gewandhaus Orchestra
"Electrifying" The Guardian
"Uplifting" The Independent
"One of Europe´s finest orchestras" The Guardian
"Pressed to choose between the three superb combinations of conductor and orchestra currently invigorating German orchestral life - Rattle and the Berliners, Jansons and the Bavarians, or Chailly and the Gewandhaus - I would have to say that, on this form and this repertoire, the Saxons edge it." The Times, 2011
The Gewandhausorchester's unique timbre, its virtuosic flexibility, its musicians' rapture-inducing, infectious joy, coupled with the profound sincerity of their music-making, are the unmistakable characteristics which led to the Orchestra's inclusion in the exclusive German showcase publication "Brands of the Century" in 2009.
Indisputably unique is, in addition, the extraordinarily rich diversity of the repertoire to which the Gewandhaus Orchestra dedicates itself in over 200 performances each year. The Orchestra's astounding spectrum of expressive capability is a result of the worldwide unique sphere of activity in which the Orchestra operates: as concert orchestra in the Gewandhaus, orchestra of the Leipzig Opera and orchestra for the weekly performances of the cantatas of J.S. Bach with the Thomanerchor in St. Thomas's Church.
The Gewandhausorchester is the oldest civic symphony orchestra in the world, its history stretching back in excess of 250 years. Its distinguished reputation and enduring influence on the history of music, its countless appearances on every continent of the globe since 1916 and hundreds of recordings have made the Orchestra one of the most beloved of our time.
Since Riccardo Chailly's induction as 19th Gewandhauskapellmeister in 2005, the Orchestra has released numerous CDs which have been serially decorated with the most prestigious international awards, including a Golden Disc: the complete symphonies of both Beethoven and Schumann; a Gershwin album with the pianist Stefano Bollani; Bach's piano concertos, Christmas Oratorio, St. Matthew Passion and the Brandenburg Concertos; Brahms' piano concertos with Nelson Freire; Mendelssohn's Lobgesang and the "Mendelssohn Discoveries" album).
2004 saw the establishment of the Gewandhausorchester's Mendelssohn Orchestra Academy, run in conjunction with the University of Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig. The objective of the Academy is the provision of first-class, practice-specific training for the next generation of musicians for the world's elite orchestras. Members of the Orchesterakademie receive instrumental tuition from principal musicians of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, as well as practical and theoretical instruction at the University. Orchestral experience is gained through active participation in the Orchestra's activities in the Gewandhaus, the Opera and St. Thomas's Church.
The Gewandhausorchester was awarded the prize for the "Best Concert Programme" for the conception of its concert season 2008/09 by the German Association of Music Publishers.