Munich Philharmonic

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About Munich Philharmonic

Founded in 1893 in Munich, the Münchner Philharmoniker’s early association with the music of Gustav Mahler placed it firmly on the map. It premiered his Fourth (1901) and Eighth (1910) symphonies, and also the song-symphony Das Lied von der Erde (1911). Bruckner’s symphonies were another early area of expertise, especially during Ferdinand Löwe’s second period as music director (1908-14). The Philharmoniker’s close alignment with Nazism in the 1930s, as the self-styled “Orchestra of the Fascist Movement,” inevitably provoked controversy. Artistically, however, the Philharmoniker rebounded strongly in the postwar period, particularly under music directors Rudolf Kempe (1967-76) and Sergiu Celibidache (1979-96). They nurtured the orchestra’s trademark warmth of tone and interpretive insight, both live in concert and in numerous recordings. The charismatic Russian Valery Gergiev took over as music director in 2015, but was fired in 2022 for failing to speak out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Munich, Germany
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