Aachen Symphony Orchestra / Sinfonieorchester Aachen
It is one of the oldest civic concert orchestras in Germany and was first founded in 1720 by citizens and merchants in the city at that time. In 1852 it was renamed as the Symphony Orchestra of the City of Aachen.
Few other orchestras have contributed as much to the development of the symphonic musical tradition as the Aachen Symphony Orchestra. For example, the first performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony outside of Vienna was in Aachen in the year 1825. It also was the first orchestra to play the Opera “Der Freischütz” in Paris. The orchestra has a great recorded legacy that includes a complete Bruckner cycle.
The orchestra boasts an exceptionally wide repertoire, versatility and an unusually large number of performances. This is due in part to its multiple functions as a concert orchestra and an opera orchestra at the theatre in Aachen, and also to the various concert series and crossover projects that the orchestra presents.
International eminent conductors have worked often in Aachen - whether as principal guest conductor or as music directors. Among the guest conductors included Richard Strauss, Felix Weingartner, Karl Muck, Hans Pfitzner and Clemens Krauss. Music directors like Fritz Busch, Herbert von Karajan and Wolfgang Sawallisch decisively shaped the orchestra and began their careers in Aachen.