Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra

Since its formation in 1945 the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra has concentrated on two thematic focal points. On one hand, with its exemplary interpretations it fosters the great classic and romantic repertoire of the symphonic tradition; on the other, it leads the world in promoting contemporary music and neglected works and composers. The year 1971 marked an important caesura in the history of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, for in this year Sergiu Celibidache was appointed Principal Conductor, and with his intensive and inspiring rehearsal work, developed a new, pioneering ideal of sound which shaped their performance style for many years. Sir Neville Marriner, who took over as Principal Conductor in 1983, widened the orchestra’s radius by undertaking international tours to the Far East and the USA with them. He was succeeded in 1989 by Gianluigi Gelmetti, who concentrated more on the Italian and French musical repertoire. With Georges Prêtre, who became the Artistic Director in 1996 and is still Laureate Conductor of the RSO, another charismatic personality presided over the orchestra. Since 1998, Sir Roger Norrington has been the Principal Conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. Norrington has managed to give the orchestra a quite unmistakable profile by combining historically authentic performing practices with the means available to a modern symphony orchestra - the result of this synthesis has been hailed by critics as the “Stuttgart Sound”. It adjusts the configuration of the orchestra, the instrumentation, articulation, phrasing and style to the composer’s own concept of sound. Norrington regularly adds a further dimension by his verbal communication of music. He concentrates principally on two major thematic focal points communicating the importance of composers of the period from Viennese Classicism (Ludwig van Beethoven’s music especially) through to Romanticism; and adding to the repertoire and concert series of the Stuttgart RSO by including major works from the British symphonic tradition. Norrington’s recording of Elgar’s First Symphony with the RSO won the coveted “ECHO Klassik” Prize 2001 for the best symphonic recording of the year.
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