Staatskapelle Berlin

The Staatskapelle Berlin (German: [ˈʃtaːtskaˌpɛlə bɛʁˈliːn]) is a German orchestra and the resident orchestra of the Berlin State Opera, Unter den Linden. The orchestra is one of the oldest in the world. Until the fall of the German Empire in 1918 the orchestra's name was Königliche Kapelle, i.e. Royal Orchestra.

Staatskapelle Berlin
Musikverein Wien 2009 04 30.JPG
Pierre Boulez and the Staatskapelle at the Musikverein, April 2009
Former nameKurbrandenburgische Hofkapelle
Königlich Preußische Hofkapelle
LocationBerlin, Germany
Principal conductorDaniel Barenboim


The orchestra traces its roots to 1570,[1] when Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg established the rules for an orchestra at his court which had been constituted, at an unknown date.[2] In 1701, the affiliation of the Electors of Brandenburg to the position of King of Prussia led to the description of the orchestra as Königlich Preußische Hofkapelle ("Royal Prussian Court Orchestra"), which consisted of about 30 musicians. The orchestra became affiliated with the Royal Court Opera, established in 1742 by Frederick the Great. Noted musicians associated with the orchestra have included Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Franz Benda, and Johann Joachim Quantz.[2]

The first concert by the ensemble for a wider audience outside of the royal courts was on 1 March 1783 at the Hotel Paris, led by Johann Friedrich Reichardt, the ensemble's Kapellmeister. After the advent of Giacomo Meyerbeer as Kapellmeister, from 1842, the role of the orchestra expanded and a first annual concert series for subscribers was launched. The orchestra gave a number of world and German premieres of works by Richard Wagner, Felix Mendelssohn, and Otto Nicolai.

The orchestra's music director, the Staatskapellmeister, holds the same post with the Berlin State Opera. The orchestra was in the eastern part of Berlin, and thus was part of East Germany from 1945 to 1990.

The current Staatskapellmeister of the orchestra and the opera has been Daniel Barenboim since 1992. Barenboim has had the title of "conductor for life" for the ensemble since 2000. In July 2013, the orchestra made its first-ever appearances at The Proms, performing the four operas of Der Ring des Nibelungen, the first complete Ring cycle to be given in a single Proms season.[3] In January 2017, the orchestra and Barenboim performed the complete symphonies of Anton Bruckner at Carnegie Hall, the first live Bruckner symphony cycle ever performed in the United States.[4] In July 2017, the orchestra was the first non-UK orchestra to perform the two completed symphonies of Edward Elgar at The Proms in a single season.[5]

Barenboim and the orchestra have made several recordings for the Teldec and Decca labels.[6][7][8][9]


Honorary conductorsEdit


  1. ^ "Festkonzert 450 Jahre Staatskapelle Berlin". Staatsoper Berlin (in German). Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b Sauerwein, Uwe (7 September 2020). "Eine Welt ohne Musik? Unvorstellbar!". Die Welt (in German). Berlin. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  3. ^ Maddocks, Fiona (27 July 2013). "Proms 14 & 15: Das Rheingold/Die Walküre – review". The Observer. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  4. ^ da Fonseca-Wollheim, Corinna; Woolfe, Zachary (30 January 2017). "When a Composer Just Doesn't Do It for You (No Matter How Much You Listen)". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  5. ^ Clements, Andrew (17 July 2017). "Staatskapelle Berlin/Barenboim review – magnificent UK Birtwistle premiere". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  6. ^ Clements, Andrew (27 February 2004). "Schumann: The Symphonies, Staatskapelle Berlin/ Barenboim". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
  7. ^ Holden, Anthony (2 April 2006). "Classical CDs: Mahler". The Observer. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
  8. ^ Clements, Andrew (23 March 2016). "Elgar: Symphony No 1 CD review – Barenboim's remarkable achievement". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  9. ^ Clements, Andrew (21 May 2014). "Elgar: Symphony No 2 review – a triumph for Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  10. ^ Decker, Kerstin (17 May 2009). "Klassisch war nur die Musik". Die Zeit (in German). Hamburg. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  11. ^ Hanssen, Frederik (5 September 2019). "Unter den Linden herrscht weiter die Angst". Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Berlin. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  12. ^ a b c "Mitglieder". Staatskapelle Berlin (in German). Retrieved 9 September 2020.

External linksEdit