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NDR Elbphil­harmonie Orchestra

Meet the orchestra! Founded in 1945 as the Northwest German Broadcasting orchestra, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra is based at the Grand Hall of the Elbphilharmonie.

The Orchestra

The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra performed at the inauguration of the Elbphilharmonie on 11 January with a diverse programme by composers ranging from Praetorius to Rihm. From now on, the resident orchestra plays a major role in development of the concert hall’s musical profile.

Alan Gilbert Named as New Principal Conductor

Alan Gilbert will assume the position of Principal Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra from the 2019/20 season. He will succeed Thomas Hengelbrock as the head of the Elbphilharmonie’s resident orchestra. From 2009 to June 2017 Gilbert was Principal Conductor of the New York Philharmonic and travelled to the Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall for a performance in April 2017. He is already on familiar terms with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra: Gilbert was First Guest Conductor from 2004 to 2015.

More about Alan Gilbert at www.ndr.de (German only)
Portrait of Alan Gilbert (German only)

Artistic Vision

The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra was founded in 1945 and played an important part in the spiritual and cultural reconstruction of northern Germany following the Second World War. For more than a quarter of a century, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt shaped the artistic profile of the orchestra as its first Principal Conductor. He was succeeded by Günter Wand, who forged a strong and highly successful relationship with the orchestra over the next two decades. In 1998, Christoph Eschenbach was appointed to the position of Principal Conductor, followed by Christoph von Dohnányi in 2004.

Thomas Hengelbrock
Thomas Hengelbrock © Florence Grandidier

Journey to the Elbphilhar­monie

Seventy years since its establishment, a new chapter for the orchestra together with the Elbphilharmonie has begun. Thomas Hengelbrock has been at the helm as Principal Conductor since 2011. With his experimental approach to interpretation and unconventional programming, he has brought a fresh and inspiring spirit of musicianship to the orchestra and awakened an upbeat mood among the musicians and their audiences. The orchestra is also greatly enhanced by its first Guest Conductor, the young and dynamic Polish conductor Krzysztof Urbański, and by its own Orchestra Academy, which continually brings emerging talents into the orchestra.

Krzysztof Urbański
Krzysztof Urbański © Joanna Urbańska