Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra
The Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra ranks among those orchestras in Germany richest in tradition, being able to look back on a history of more than 125 years. After its foundation in 1877 it soon developed into a nationally respected orchestra, attracting renowned conductors. Max Reger and Hans Pfitzner were the first prominent guests on the rostrum of the young orchestra, which was later also moulded by artistic personalities such as Paul Hindemith, Carl Schuricht and Bruno Walter.
The German premiere of Anton Bruckner's 9th Symphony numbers among early highlights in the history of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra, as does the performance of Richard Strauss' Tod und Verklärung under the baton of the composer himself. In Eugen Jochum the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra had, in the 1930's, a musical director of fine international repuatation. After the war the difficult reconstruction work was managed by his brother Georg Ludwig Jochum who was the director of the orchestra until 1970. A long phase of artistic continuity is connected with the names Miltiades Caridis, Lawrence Foster, Alexander Lazarev and Bruno Weil.
Since the Jubilee season in 2002/2003 the Briton Jonathan Darlington has guided the fortunes of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra as musical director. Since that time he has substantially moulded the character of the orchestra.
The list of guest conductors is also long and impressive. Alberto Erede, Carlos Kleiber and Horst Stein, but also Christian Thielemann, Ton Koopman and Fabio Luisi. Again and again the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra has been able to engage major soloists, such as the pianists Ferruccio Busoni, Vladimir Horowitz, Claudio Arrau and Wilhelm Kempff, or the violinists Yehudi Menuhin, Henryk Szeryng and Arthur Grumiaux. Today sought after artists such as Bruno Leonardo Gelber, Anna Gourari, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Antoine Tamestit and Claudio Bohorquez are very welcome guests.
Contemporary music traditionally enjoys a high ranking in the programmes of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Major composers of today such as Wolfgang Rihm, Mauricio Kagel, Krzysztof Meyer, Jörg Baur and Manfred Trojahn have written works for the orchestra.
Jonathan Darlington is music director of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Vancouver Opera. His demand for the highest level of professionalism and precision, infused with genuine enthusiasm, has ever increased the quality and popularity of both orchestras.
A graduate of Durham University and the Royal Academy of Music, he began his career as freelance pianist, accompanist and repetiteur in France. His work was influenced early on by such outstanding musical personalities of our time as Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Muti and Olivier Messiaen. He made his conducting debut in 1984 at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, with Francesco Cavalli’s baroque opera Ormindo, and in 1991, as assistant to the Music Director Myung-Whun Chung at the Paris Opéra with Le nozze di Figaro.
Renowned for his vast symphonic and operatic repertoire, which ranges from the baroque to the contemporary with an emphasis on lesser known works outside the European mainstream, he is a regular guest at the Orchestre National de France, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica del San Carlo di Napoli, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the National Orchestra of Taiwan, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, the English National Opera, and Sydney Opera. His most recent successes include the world première of Manfred Trojahn’s La Grande Magia with the Staatkapelle Dresden and Gustave Charpentier’s Louise with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. His most recent live recordings are Mahler’s Sixth Symphony and Dvorak’s Piano Concerto.
Jonathan Darlington holds the distinctions of a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres as well as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, London (FRAM).
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