Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra
The Philharmonic Orchestra Hagen was founded in 1907 as the first municipal orchestra of Westphalia, on the initiative of the music director of the Hagen Concert Society Robert Laugs. After interruptions during the two world wars activities could be resumed already in January 1946. Berthold Lehmann followed Klaus Nettstraeter as Musical Director in the year 1949. The 'Hagen Music Days', which takes place every year, was now brought into being.
Musical Director Reinhard Schwarz who took over Lehmann's tasks from 1970 advanced the Orchestra's youth projects and alongside projects with schools, the Hagen Music Competition was announced for the first time in 1979. In the following years GMD Michael Halasz, through continuous progressive work, managed to double the numbers of visitors and from 1982 the new civic hall offered the orchestra, and its newly expanded audience, a new home. In 1990 Gerhard Markson took on the position of Hagen Musical Director, strengthening the supraregional involvement of the orchestra, besides his work in the operatic field.
After a five-year cooperation with the South Westphalian Philharmonia Hilchenbach and under the musical directorship of GMD Georg Fritzsch, the orchestra again became independent in August 2002. From 2004 the Dutchman Antony Hermus took on the directorship of the Philharmonic Orchestra, which now aims to gain a new and younger audience, besides its traditionally close connection to the theatre of the city of Hagen.
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