The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester (formerly the NDR Sinfonieorchester) is resident orchestra at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg (opening in 2017). The orchestra can look back on more than 70 years of history, and with its concert series in Hamburg, Lübeck, Kiel and Wismar is one of the most important presences in the North German cultural landscape. In addition, on its tours throughout Europe and to Asia, South America and the USA, the orchestra has confirmed its position as one of the world’s foremost concert orchestras.
For a quarter of a century, beginning in 1945, its first principal conductor Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt shaped the orchestra’s artistic profile and, subsequently, an intensive twenty-year-long collaboration with Günter Wand was of particular importance. Wand took over as chief conductor in 1982 and, as honorary conductor, was closely associated with the orchestra until his death in 2002. After that, the chief conductors were John Eliot Gardiner and Herbert Blomstedt, followed in 1998 by Christoph Eschenbach and in 2004 by Christoph von Dohnányi. Since 2011 the fresh approach of principal conductor Thomas Hengelbrock has set new standards in the artistic work of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester. From 2004 until 2015 Alan Gilbert was the orchestra’s principal guest conductor.