With a wide variety of concerts and CD releases, the symphony orchestra of the Hessischer Rundfunk (German Public Radio of Hesse) has celebrated worldwide success and is a prestigious guest on renowned international stages such as at 'The Proms' in London, 'The Concertgebouw' in Amsterdam and in Vienna, Salzburg, Paris, Budapest and Prague, Japan and China.
Hans Rosbaud, the orchestra's first conductor between 1929 and 1937, shaped the orchestra by focusing on traditional as well as contemporary music. Following the end of World War II, Kurt Schröder, Winfried Zillig and Otto Matzerath set about rebuilding the orchestra, establishing a broad musical repertoire. But it was Dean Dixon and especially Eliahu Inbal who over the following decades (1961 to 1990) turned the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra into an orchestra of international distinction with guest appearances all over the world and important, multiple award-winning recordings such as the first recording of the original versions of the Bruckner symphonies and the first-ever digital recording of Mahler's complete symphonies. Inbal was Chief Conductor between 1974 and 1990 and has been the orchestra's Honorary Conductor since 1996.
Dmitri Kitaenko who was Chief Conductor from 1990 to 1996 and put his particular emphasis on German and Russian traditional and modern music, was followed by the American Hugh Wolff who joined the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1997 and was its Chief Conductor for nine years. Wolff applied knowledge gathered from historical performance practices to the modern symphony orchestra, thereby regaining the vast pool of repertoire from the classical, early classical and baroque periods. Exciting interpretations and an unusually versatile programming were two of his trademarks. The joint success was not only reflected in the countless number of invitations to perform throughout Europe and Asia, but also in acclaimed CD recordings of works by Antheil, Haydn and Beethoven, as well as in two 'Grammy' nominations.
From 2006 to 2013 Estonian Paavo Järvi has been Music Director of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. As one of the most successful international conductors in his generation, he stands for musical variety and enriches the orchestra with new musical aspects. He does this through his commitment to Nordic repertoire and great Romantic and post-Romantic literature, as well as through his vast experience with musical youth projects. Experiments and discoveries both in the area of old and new music and the collaboration with top-class conductors and soloists is just as much part of its artistic profile as is the boundary-crossing Music Discovery Project which it remains closely associated with.