Links www.rundfunkorchester.de (German)
Munich Radio Orchestra
The Munich Radio Orchestra (German: Münchner Rundfunkorchester) is a German symphony orchestra based in Munich. It is one of the two orchestras affiliated with the Bavarian Radio (Bayerischer Rundfunk), the other being the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
A precursor ensemble to the Munich Radio Orchestra was established in the 1920s. The current Munich Radio Orchestra was formalised in 1952, with Werner Schmidt-Boelke as its first chief conductor. The orchestra's focus has historically been on light music, with particular emphasis in its early years as an orchestra for operettas. The orchestra was also historically known for its Sunday concerts.
From the chief conductorship of Lamberto Gardelli (1982-1985) onwards, the orchestra expanded its repertoire into opera, specifically Italian opera. This work continued under the orchestra's next 3 chief conductors, all Italians, Giuseppe Patanè (1988-1989), Roberto Abbado (1992-1998), and Marcello Viotti (1998-2005). This activity extended to commercial recordings of operas and opera excerpts with the orchestra's chief conductors.
The orchestra faced budget constraints and the threat of dissolution by Bavarian Radio in 2004. In protest at these threats to the existence of the orchestra, Viotti resigned as chief conductor that year. After negotiations, the orchestra was preserved, with a reduction in size from 72 to 50 musicians.
Since September 2006, the orchestra's chief conductor is Ulf Schirmer. Schirmer has conducted commercial recordings for the Bavarian Radio's own BR-Klassik label, including Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Des Simplicius Simplicissimus Jugend. The orchestra has also recorded for other labels such as CPO, RCA, Acanta and Sony Classical.
- Werner Schmidt-Boelke (1952-1967)
- Kurt Eichhorn (1967-1975)
- Heinz Wallberg (1975-1981)
- Lamberto Gardelli (1982-1985)
- Giuseppe Patanè (1988-1989)
- Roberto Abbado (1992-1998)
- Marcello Viotti (1998-2005)
- Ulf Schirmer (2006present)
- Sarah Bryan Miller, Classical Briefs: Rossini - Tancredi, The New York Times, 1996-12-01. URL accessed on 2011-01-30.
- Anthony Tommasini, A New generation Revels in Bel Canto, The New York Times, 1998-11-08. URL accessed on 2011-01-30.
- Anne Midgette, The Best Classical CD's of 2004, The New York Times, 2004-12-12. URL accessed on 2011-01-30.
- Anne Midgette, Marcello Viotti, Conductor, Is Dead at 50, The New York Times, 2005-02-17. URL accessed on 2011-01-30.
- Anne Midgette, Can the iPod Kill These Radio Stars?, The New York Times, 2006-10-29. URL accessed on 2011-01-30.
- Anthony Tommasini, Classical CD's;3 Ways To Go Astray, The New York Times, 1996-07-25. URL accessed on 2011-01-30.
- George Jellinek, Home Entertainment/Recordings: Recent Releases, The New York Times, 1989-04-02. URL accessed on 2011-01-30.
- Tim Ashley, Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Garanca/ Brownlee/ Gunn/ De Simone/ Munich Radio Orchestra/ Gomez-Martinez, The Guardian, 2006-10-20. URL accessed on 2011-01-30.
- Official German-language site of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester
- German-language historical timetable of the orchestra, from the official Münchner Rundfunkorchester site
- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International review of Franz Lehár's Schön ist die Welt (CPO 777 055-2), 6 May 2006