South-west German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim
The hallmark of the South-west German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim is its fresh and gripping musical approach and stylistic diversity from early to contemporary music. The ensemble consists of fourteen musicians of seven different nationalities and is one of the few full-time chamber orchestras in Europe. This allows for exceptional richness and flexibility of sound, which is maintained even when the Orchestra is enlarged with further wind or string players.
The ensemble was founded in 1950 by Paul Hindemith’s former student Friedrich Tilegant. Soon the ensemble won international recognition: One talked of the “Tilegant-sound”, which could not only be heard at the festivals in Salzburg, Lucerne and Leipzig as well as on world-wide tours, but which was also documented on numerous recordings (Deutsche Grammophon, VOX, Erato, Telefunken, Intercord). Maurice André, Dietrich Fischer-Diskau, Frans Brüggen and Yehudi Menuhin are only a few of the celebrity names who have worked with the Orchestra.
After the Tilegant-era, which ended far too early after the premature death of its founder in 1968, the Orchestra was moulded by the Viennese Paul Angerer (1971-1981) and Vladislav Czarnecki (1986-2002), who came from the Czech music tradition. Since the beginning of the 2002-03 season, the young German conductor Sebastian Tewinkel, winner of several international competitions, has been the new Music Director.
On its road to success the South-west German Chamber Orchestra has made numerous broadcasts for almost all European radio stations and released more than 180 records and CDs, many of which were awarded international prizes (Grand Prix du Disque, Monteverdi Prize, Prox Artur Honegger). Several premiere performances (Jean Françaix, Harald Genzmer, Enjott Schneider) prove its competence in contemporary music.
Currently the Chamber Orchestra plays together with renowned soloists such as Gidon Kremer, Rudolf Buchbinder, Christian Tetzlaff, Sabine Meyer, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Mischa Maisky and Anatol Ugorski. Together with them – but also with up-and-coming young musicians – the Orchestra has been invited to perform in all European countries (Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Schwetzingen Festival, Ljubljana International Summer Festival, Prague Spring, Flanders Festival, Lazio International Festival, Vienna OsterKlang Festival) as well as in the USA and Japan.
Ideas for new programmes beyond the traditional subscription concerts extend the ensemble’s profile. In 2001, the South-west German Chamber Orchestra toured Europe’s great concert halls with Giora Feidman and Facundo Ramirez, playing Klezmer and Argentinian folklore (Misa Criolla), and the ensemble continues to tread new paths with American violinist Monique Mead to win young audiences for classical music (“Classic for Kids”). The Orchestra recently recorded a newly composed score which was mixed with original soundtracks of the Comedian Harmonists and performs other projects of chamber opera, dance (Flamenco with Nina Corti) and marionette theatre.