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About Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra

Het Gelders Orkest (The Gelder Orchestra) is named for the Gelderland region of the Netherlands and has become deeply rooted in its cultural life, also performing in national Dutch venues and abroad. In the latter case, they tend to use the name Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra, and they are based in that city. The orchestra gives more than 100 concerts annually. The roots of Het Gelders Orkest go back to its founding as the Arnhemsche Orchest Vereeiniging in 1889. The orchestra gave the Dutch premiere of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 in D minor in 1903. One of its major early conductors was Jaap Spaanderman, who led the group from 1932 until 1949 and raised its artistic level substantially. The founding of the Het Gelders Orkest Foundation in 1949 created the orchestra's modern configuration and defined it as a regional orchestra of Gelderland, with performances in Ede, Doetinchem, Zutphen, Apeldoorn, and Nijmegen, as well as Arnhem. Its music directors in the modern era have been Jan Out, Carl von Garaguly, Leo Driehuys, Yoav Talmi, Roberto Benzi (1989-1998), and Lawrence Renes (1998-2002), Martin Sieghart (2003-2009), and, since 2011, Antonello Manacorda. Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi has served as a permanent conductor and has led the group on Japanese tours; the Russian Nikolay Alexeyev has been a guest conductor and has broadened the group's reach into Russian repertory. The orchestra's musical interests on recordings have always been broad. An important early recording was a 1990 release of Leonard Bernstein's Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 on the Ottavo label, one of the earlier recordings of Bernstein's symphonic music in Europe. The orchestra has since recorded mostly for Marco Polo, Naxos (where they issued a complete cycle of the symphonies of the Russian composer Igor Markevitch), and Challenge Classics, which released the orchestra's performances of Debussy's La mer and Ravel's Ma mère l'oye under Manacorda in 2018. ~ James Manheim