Staatskapelle Berlin

  • Portrait

    With almost 450 years of tradition, Staatskapelle Berlin is one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Originally founded as court orchestra by Prince-Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg in 1570, and at first solely dedicated to carrying out musical services for the court, the ensemble expanded its activities with the founding of the Royal Court Opera in 1742 by Frederick the Great. Ever since then, the orchestra has been closely tied to Staatsoper Unter den Linden.

    Many important musicians have conducted the orchestra, both in the opera and in the regular concert series that have been held since 1842: Gaspare Spontini, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Felix von Weingartner, Richard Strauss, Erich Kleiber, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, Franz Konwitschny, and Otmar Suitner are just a few of the conductors who have decidedly influenced the instrumental and interpretive culture of Staatskapelle Berlin.

    The works of Richard Wagner, who himself conducted the »Königlich Preußische Hofkapelle« in 1844 at the premiere of his »Flying Dutchman« and in 1876 during the preparations for the Berlin premiere of »Tristan and Isolde«, has represented a pillar of the repertoire of the Staatsoper and its orchestra for some time.

    Since 1992, Daniel Barenboim has served as the orchestra’s general music director, and in 2000 the orchestra voted him as conductor for life. At numerous guest appearances that has brought the orchestra not only to the great European music centers, but also to Israel, Japan, and China, as well as North and South America, the international top position of the ensemble has proved itself over and over. The performance of all symphonies and piano concertos of Beethoven in Vienna, Paris, London, New York, and Tokyo, and the cycles of symphonies of Schumann and Brahms, the ten-part cycle of all important stage works by Wagner, and the three-part performance of Wagner’s »Ring« cycle in Japan 2002 are some of the most outstanding events of recent years. As part of the Staatsoper’s FESTTAGE 2007, the symphonies and orchestral songs of Gustav Mahler were performed under the batons of Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez at Berlin’s Philharmonie. This ten-part cycle will be performed in the 2008/2009 season at Vienna’s Musikverein as well as New York’s Carnegie Hall.

    Staatskapelle Berlin was named »Orchestra of the Year« in 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008 by the journal OPERNWELT, and in 2003 the orchestra was awarded the Furtwängler Prize. A constantly growing number of recordings in both the operatic and symphonic repertoires documents the work of the orchestra. Their recording of all the Beethoven symphonies in 2002 was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque, their 2003 recording of Wagner’s »Tannhäuser« was awarded a Grammy, and their 2007 live recording of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony was awarded an Echo Prize. Recently, a DVD production was released of Beethoven’s five piano concertos featuring Daniel Barenboim as both soloist and conductor.

    In the »Orchesterakademie«, founded in 1997, young musicians receive the opportunity to gather professional experience in both opera and concert performance. Members of the Staatskapelle are here active as mentors. Furthermore, many musicians volunteer at Musikkindergarten Berlin, founded at the initiative of Daniel Barenboim. Beside their performing at the opera performances and in the large symphony concerts, numerous instrumentalists have also dedicated themselves to working in chamber music formations as well as in the ensemble »Preußens Hofmusik«, which focuses primarily on the Berlin music tradition from the eighteenth century. This rich musical activity can be experienced in several concert series held at the Staatsoper’s Apollo-Saal.

  • Chronicle

    Immersion in centuries of music history

    With a tradition reaching back to 1570, the Staatskapelle Berlin is one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Initially it performed exclusively for the Court. However, when Frederick the Great founded the Royal Court Opera in 1742 – today’s State Opera – and merged the Opera and Orchestra, the sphere of activity of the Staatskapelle was broadened and the success story began.

    The exceptional, dark and warm sound of the Staatskapelle, much praised by experts today, has grown from a long tradition. Over time famous conductors have contributed to the orchestra’s characteristic sound and musical interpretation. The Staatskapelle Berlin is an essential part of the State Opera: it undertakes the majority of the opera and ballet performances. In a series of concerts each season the Orchestra performs major symphonic works of the Classic, Romantic and Modern periods, commissioned works, and a broad variety of chamber music. Daniel Barenboim was appointed general music director of the Staatskapelle in 1992.


    Kurfürst Joachim II. von Brandenburg institutionalizes the first charta for musical ensembles for the Kurbrandenburg Court Chapel, the Hofkapelle.

    Johannes Wesalius is chronicled as the first conductor of the Hofkapelle until 1582, the year of his death.

    The masterful composer of the Protestant church song, Johannes Eccard (1553-1611) is appointed Hofkapellmeister at the court of the Kurfürst in Berlin on July 4. The Orchestra now consists of 24 singers and 18 instrumentalists. His successor from 1612 to 1618, Nikolaus Zangius, increases the number of musicians.

    On March 1, two Florentine castrati, Bernardo Pasquino Grassi and Giovanni Angelo Maglio - Monteverdi´s first »Orfeo« in 1607 – are employed in Berlin for 360 thalers per year and per person.

    On February 14, William Brade (1560 - 1630), a noted english viola da gamba soloist occupies the post of Hofkapellmeisters for one year. When the great 30 Year War erupts, the orchestra under the aegis of his successor and compatriot Walter Rowe is reduced but escapes being disbanded.

    After long years of dispute over their salaries, the musicians are not only compensated for the previous years, they also receive an early form of health insurance. From now on, they may call themselves »Cammer-Musicanten«, chamber musicians.

    Johann Christoph Pepusch (1667-1752), who will later become Händel´s opponent and compose the »Beggar´s Opera« in 1728, becomes a member of the Hofkapelle. In 1698 he escapes service under the Prussians and arrives in England via the Netherlands.

    A hall is erected within the Berliner Stadtschloss, the Berlin City Castle. It is dedicated to theatre performances. The Orchestra conducted by Carl Friedrich Rieck participates in the first Berlin opera performances.

    At the time of the coronation of Kurfürst Friedrich as »König Friedrich I. in Preußen« the Berliner Hofkapelle amounts to 30 musicians and singers, among them famous instrumentalists, such as Attilio Ariosti, Giovanni Bononcini, Ruggiero Fedeli and Jean Baptist Volumier.

    The Italian Giovanni Battista Bononcini composes the opera »Polifemo« for the Prussian court.

    After his coronation Friedrich Wilhelm I. dissolves the Hofkapelle and commissions Johann Gottfried Pepusch, Johann Christoph Pepusch´s younger brother with the formation of a chamber music ensemble consisting of military musicians from the Potsdam garrison.

    Crown Prince Friedrich (later to become Friedrich II.) inaugurates a new court orchestra for his residences at Ruppin (1732-1736) and Rheinsberg (1736-1740). Important musicians are chosen, such as the brothers Carl Heinrich (1701-1759) and Johann Gottlieb Graun (1699-1771), as well as Frantisek (1709-1786) and Jiri Benda (1715-1752).

    Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) joins the Hofkapelle as cembalist.

    May 31: Friedrich II. succeeds to the throne of Prussia. Georg Wenzeslaus Knobelsdorff is commissioned with the construction of an opera building on the Unter den Linden boulevard.

    The Rheinsberg Orchestra becomes the »Königliche Kapelle«, the Royal Chapel at the Berlin court.

    On December 7, the Königliche Kapelle inaugurates the unfinished Lindenoper building with the opera »Cleopatra e Caesare« by Carl Heinrich Graun who personally conducts the performance. The Orchestra now has an impressive selection of notable instrumentalists: the Graun brothers, the Benda brothers and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach along with Ludwig Christian Hesse, Johann Gottlieb Janitsch, Friedrich Wilhelm Riedt, Johann Heinrich Rolle, Christoph Schaffrath and Christian Schale. The royal concerts are conducted by Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773).

    The Lindenoper building is completed by September. The first Redoute, the ceremonial reception is held on October 10, after a performance of Johann Adolf Hasse´s »La clemenza di Tito«.

    Graun´s Oratorium »Der Tod Jesu« is premiered by the »Musikausübende Gesellschaft«, the “Society for the Performance of Music“ and members of the Hoffkapelle. Increasingly the members of the Orchestra will enrich Berlin concert life beyond the Court confines.

    Following Graun´s death on August 8, Bach pupil Johann Friedrich Agricola (1720-1774) assumes the musical directorship.

    Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1752-1814) is appointed Hofkapelle Director.

    On March 11, the Paris Hotel hosts the first of the »Concerts spirituels« by Reichardt in the Parisian tradition and in the manner of the novel concert series in the Leipziger Gewandhaus. This concert series is temporarily discontinued in 1784.

    Händel´s »Messias« premieres in the Berlin Cathedral, conducted by Johann Adam Hiller with Hofkapelle members and numerous amateur singers.

    Friedrich Wilhelm II. commissions various alterations in the building; on January 11, the Lindenoper is reopened with a production of Reichardt´s opera »Andromeda«.

    Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf conducts the performances of two of his symphonies and on August 5, his oratory »Hiob« is performed at the Lindenoper. For the first time, and the last time for quite a while, an entry fee is charged.

    Reichardt is dismissed due to his sympathies with the French Revolution.

    On February 28 a charity concert in aid of Mozart´s widow is organized with the Hofkapelle. Passages from Mozart´s operas are performed in German for the very first time.

    On January 24, Reichardt´s »Brennus« is the first complete opera to be performed in German.

    Haydn´s oratory »Die Schöpfung« premieres with the Hofkapelle.

    Hofkapelle conductors Vincenzo Righini (1756-1812) and Johann Heinrich Himmel (1765-1814) successfully petition the King for a charitable endowment for the widows and orphans of former Hofkapelle musicians. On October 8, Carl Friedrich Zelter (1756-1832) conducts the performance of Mozart´s Requiem im memory of his teacher and predecessor, Carl Friedrich Fasch, the founder of the Berlin vocal academy (Singe-Academie zu Berlin).

    After Prussia´s defeat against Napoleon´s troops at Jena and Auerstedt and the occupation by French troops, performances are discontinued at the Hofoper, the Court Opera. The number of Hofkapelle musicians is reduced. However, the series of »Concerts spirituels« is again brought to life at the Nationaltheater am Gendarmenmarkt.

    On June 18, the Hofoper, Court Opera, and the Nationaltheater, the National Theatre, as well as both orchestras are joined together as »Königliche Schauspiele«under the directorship of »Generaldirektor« August Wilhelm Iffland (1759-1814).

    The »Concerts spirituels« at the Nationaltheater are continued under the directorship of Bernhard Anselm Weber (1774-1821).

    Beethoven´s »Fidelio« premieres on October 11 with the Hofkapelle at the Lindenoper.

    On March 29, Bernhard Anselm Weber is designated principal conductor. Meyerbeer, E.T.A. Hoffmann and Spohr had aspired to this position without avail. The royal concert director Carl Moeser conducts symphonic concerts (until 1842).

    Graf Carl von Brühl, »Generalintendant der königlichen Theater«, principal director of the royal theatres and Iffland´s successor is rebuffed in his attempts to win over Carl Maria von Weber as Hofkapelle conductor in Berlin.

    On June 6, the King designates Gasparo Spontini (1774-1851), Napoleon´s former principal conductor as the first Prussian »General-Musik-Director«, principal musical director. He is to remain in this position until 1841. Spontini raises the number of orchestra members to 94 and significantly increases the orchestra´s quality of performance.

    On June 18, Weber´s »Der Freischütz«, directed by Karl von Brühl premieres at the Schinkel´s newly built Schauspielhaus am Gendarmenmarkt. A week later Weber plays his »Konzertstück«, concert piece for piano and orchestra in the Schauspielhaus concert hall.

    On April 27, Beethoven´s 6th. Symphony (»Pastoral«) is premiered. Nicoló Paganini is a guest performer with the Hofkapelle on various occasions.

    Spontini conducts a concert series in aid of the Spontini trust for needy Hofkapelle members. On November 27, Beethoven´s 9th is performed for the first time under Carl Moser´s baton. Moser initiates an ongoing dedicated interaction between the Hofkapelle and the works of Beethoven.

    On March 15, members of the Hofkapelle together with the Singakademie participate in the reintroduction of Johann Sebastian Bach´s »Matthäuspassion«. The venue for the performance, conducted by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847) is the hall of the Singakademie (the present Maxim-Gorki-Theatre).

    Mendelssohn Bartholdy conducts several charity concerts. The concert on November 15, 1832 witnesses the premiere of his »Reformationssinfonie«.

    On May 24, the Hofkapelle premieres the opera »Hans Heiling« by Heinrich Marschner.

    Spontini is dismissed for having supposedly insulted the Monarch. On June 11 Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) occupies the post. On November 14, the first »Symphonie-Soiree«, the first symphonic soirée takes place, marking the beginning of a regular subscribers´concert series. At first, the concerts take place in the Jagor Restaurant, until in 1845 a venue is found in the Singakademie, and following that, until 1858, the hall of the Schauspielhaus am Gendarmenmarkt and finally, until 1890, the Apollosaal of the Present in the Opera building.

    Franz Liszt performs a charity concert for needy musicians on January 18. In the night of August 18, the Opera building is razed to the ground by a fire. Carl Ferdinand Langhaus is commissioned with the immediate restoration of the building. On November 24, Mendelssohn Bartholdy takes over most of the soirée concerts for one year.

    On January 7, Richard Wagner conducts the Berlin First Night of his »Fliegender Holländer«. On March 31, Mendessohn Bartholdy conducts a performance of Händel´s »Israel in Ägypten« in the Berliner Garnisionskirche, the Berlin garrison church, with 450 performers involved. On December 7 the resurrected Lindenoper opens with the premiere of Meyerbeer´s »Ein Feldlager in Schlesien«. Gottfried Wilhelm Taubert takes over the directorship of the soirées until 1883.

    Meyerbeer is on undetermined leave from December 6. From now on, he will only conduct his own works and a few court concerts at Berlin.

    Wagner´s »Rienzi« is performed for the first time at Berlin under the aegis of the composer on October 24.

    Otto Nicolai (1810-1849) is appointed Dom- and Hofkapellmeister at Berlin.

    On March 9, Nicolai conducts the First Night of his comic opera »Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor«.

    After lengthy disputes beween the general director of the »Königliche Schauspiele«, Hülsen (officiating since 1851) and the composer, Wagner´s »Tannhäuser« is performed at Berlin for the first time on January 7.

    »Il Trovatore«is the first Verdi opera at the Lindenoper on March 24.

    Robert Radecke, Hofkapellmeister from 1871 until 1887, conducts the performance of the Verdi Requiem. Between 1883 and 1886 he also conducts the »Kapellsoirees«.

    On the occasion of the first production of Verdi´s »Aida« at Berlin, the Opera sparkles with electric light for the very first time.

    Joseph Sucher (1843-1908) is appointed conductor of Hofkapelle and Lindenoper (until 1899). He conducts the symphonic concerts together with musical director Heinrich Kahl.

    The concerts of the royal orchestra are called »Sinfonie-Abende« from April 14 onwards. They no longer take place in the Apollo-Saal, the new venue is now the large auditorium.

    Felix von Weingartner (1863-1942), appointed since 1891, takes over the »Sinfonie-Abende«. Some of the concerts are conducted by Karl Muck (1859-1940).

    Richard Strauss (1864-1949) is appointed Principal Hofkapellmeister on November 1. His debut is on November 5, with Wagner´s »Tristan und Isolde«. From 1908 onwards, he will conduct symphonic concerts as well as over 30 operas per year as Generalmusikdirektor.

    Leo Blech (1871-1958) is appointed Hofkapellmeister and subsequently, Generalmusikdirektor in 1913. On December 5, 1906 Strauss conducts the Berlin First Night of his opera »Salome«.

    On February 5, Richard Strauss conducts a symphonic concert with Schumann´s 1st and Beethoven´s 8th symphony. Max Reger conducts the Berlin First Night of his Mozart variations and his »Vaterländische Ouvertüre«.

    On November 8, Strauss conducts the last symphonic concert of the »Königliche Kapelle, the Royal Orchestra. After the collapse of the Empire, the »Hofkapelle« is renamed »Staatskapelle«. Strauss continues to conduct symphonic concerts until 1920.

    1920 -1925
    Concerts are conducted by Max von Schillings (1868-1933), 1920/22 Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886-1954), 1922/23 Hermann Abendroth (1883-1956) as well as Bruno Walter (1876-1962) and Fritz Busch (1890-1951).
    Between 1920 and 1924, notable contemporary works are premiered at Berlin, such as Strauss´»Die Frau ohne Schatten« ,»Die Gezeichneten« by Franz Schreker, »Turandot« and »Arlecchino« by Ferruccio Busoni, »Tosca« by Puccini or »Zwingburg« by Ernst Krenek.

    The newly appointed principal conductor, Generalmusikdirektor Erich Kleiber (1890-1956) conducts his first symphonic concert on December 5.

    Under Kleiber´s musical directorship, Alban Berg´s »Wozzeck« is premiered on December 14.

    Béla Bartók performs his 2nd piano concerto at a symphonic concert conducted by Kleiber.

    Kleiber conducts the First Night of the opera »Christoph Kolumbus« by Darius Milhaud on May 5.

    After the Kroll Opera is shut down, Otto Klemperer (1885-1873), Alexander Zemlinsky (1871-1942) and Fritz Zweig (1893-1984) conduct at the Linden Opera.

    After their rise to power, the National Socialists dismiss several Jewish ensemble musicians. Otto Klemperer, together with many of the foremost soloists, is forced into exile. In November Wilhelm Furtwängler is appointed Opera director. Robert Heger (1886-1978) takes over the position of the Staatskapellmeister (until 1945).

    Erich Kleiber conducts the First Night of Berg´s »Lulu«-Suite on Novermber 30. The scandal instigated by the National Socialists causes Kleiber to resign from his post and leave Germany. On December 4, Wilhelm Furtwängler writes an open letter to propaganda minister Goebbels on behalf of his Jewish colleagues, resigning from his post as Opera director.

    Clemens Krauß (1893-1954) is appointed Generalmusikdirektor of the Lindenoper for one year, Werner Egk (1901-83) is the new Staatskapellmeister.

    Johannes Schüler (1894-1966) joins the Lindenoper ensemble as conductor.

    Werner Egk conducts the First Night of his opera »Peer Gynt« on November 24. The Herbert von Karajan´s interpretation of Mozart´s »Zauberflöte« is premiered on December 18. Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989), continues as Generalmusikdirektor, the principal musical director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden between 1941 and 1945.

    Karajan conducts the first performance of Wagner-Régeny´s »Die Bürger von Calais«.

    On October 21, he conducts his first symphonic concert with the Staatskapelle at the Old Philharmonic.

    The Lindenoper is bombed in 1941. The House reopens on December 12 with Wilhelm Furtwängler´s interpretation of Wagner´s »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg«.

    When Goebbels proclaims his “Total War“, the Staatsoper is closed. The last performance is Mozart´s »Le nozze di Figaro«, conducted by Johannes Schüler on August 31. The Staatskapelle continues to perform symphonic and opera concerts. On October 4 and 5, Karajan conducts Bruckner´s 8th symphony, the final movement is the first stereo radio recording.

    The Lindenoper is once again destroyed on February 3. The concerts are relocated to the Admiralspalast and the Schauspielhaus. On February 18, Herbert von Karajan conducts his last symphonic concert with the Staatskapelle in the Beethoven hall.
    After the capitulation of fascist Germany, the Staatskapelle Berlin and Karl Schmidt perform the first major opera concert of the »Former Staatsoper Berlin« in the great broadcasting hall of the Berlin Funkhaus on the Masurenallee. On June 30, the »Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin« opens the first post-war season with a Staatskapelle concert at the Deutsches Theater. The Admiralspalast, a new venue until 1955, opens with a concert on August 23. On September 8, Gluck´s »Orpheus und Eurydike« is performed. On October 17, Johannes Schüler conducts the first symphonic concert.

    On October 2, Yehudi Menuhin performs a charity concert on behalf of the Jewish community together with the Staatskapelle under the baton of Wilhelm Furtwängler. On October 14, Boris Blacher´s oratory »Der Großinquisitor« is played for the very first time in a Staatskapelle symphonic concert conducted by Johannes Schüler.

    Paul Hindemith´s opera »Mathis der Maler« conducted by Johannes Schüler is performed for the first time at Berlin on February 22. On September 1, Joseph Keilberth (1908-1968) receives his commission as principal conductor, Erster Kapellmeister of the Staatskapelle. Leopold Ludwig (1908-1979) also receives his conductor´s commission.

    On March 17, the First Night of the opera »Das Verhör des Lukullus« by Bertolt Brecht and Paul Dessau takes place. After his return from exile, Erich Kleiber conducts his first »Rosenkavalier« performance, and June 22 witnesses his first symphonic concert with the Staatskapelle. He endorses the reconstruction of the Lindenoper and assumes his position as musical director of the Deutsche Staatsoper.

    Between March 15 and May 23, the Deutsche Staatsoper performs in Paris for the first time after the War.

    In an open letter on March 15, Erich Kleiber protests against the removal of the inscription »Fridericus Rex Apollini et Musis« on the Lindenoper architrave. He resigns from his contract, having realized that »an unbiased artistic expression will no longer be possible in the future«. On April 22, Franz Konwitschny (1901-1962) is appointed executive general music director of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin. On June 14, Hans Löwlein conducts the final Staatsoper performance at Admiralspalast: Mozart´s »Die Entführung aus dem Serail«. On September 4, the resurrected Lindenoper is reopened with Wagner´s »Meistersinger von Nürnberg «, conducted by Franz Konwitschny. Further conductors are Lovro von Matacic (1899-1983) until 1958, Horst Stein (b. 1928) until 1961 and Hans Löwlein.

    From September 9 to 19, the Staatskapelle under Konwitschny travels to Moscow and Leningrad for their first post-war guest concert.

    Walter Goehr conducts the First Night of Hanns Eisler´s »Deutsche Sinfonie« on August 24.

    When the Berlin Wall is erected on August 13, the ensemble musicians belonging to the Western zone leave the Staatskapelle; their positions are filled by members of various GDR orchestras. Helmut Seydelmann (until his death in 1962), Heinz Rögner (until 1970) and Heinz Fricke (until 1992) are the new conductors.

    The Austrian Otmar Suitner (b. 1922) is appointed general music director of the Deutsche Staatsoper and principal conductor of the Staatskapelle on August 1. He will retain these posts until 1990.

    On October 16, Otmar Suitner conducts Dessau´s »Sinfonische Adaption des Quintetts in Es-Dur von W.A. Mozart«, which is performed for the first time.

    On November 15, Otmar Suitner conducts the first performance of Paul Dessau´s »Puntila«, an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht´s play.

    On December 19, Dessau´s opera »Lanzelot« (Libretto: Heiner Müller) premieres conducted by Herbert Kegel.

    Dessau´s opera »Einstein« premieres on February 16, conducted by Otmar Suitner.

    Following a guest performance, the Staatskapelle with Suitner and Michiyoshi Inoue perfoms the first guest concerts in Japan.

    The Staatskapelle begins with a steady flow of record productions with Suitner. Within the next ten years, almost every 19th century symphonic composition will be recorded. On November 24, Dessau´s opera »Leonce und Lena« premieres posthumously with Suitner.

    On October 3, Schinkel´s reconstructed Schauspielhaus hosts the first concert of the Staatskapelle.

    In September the Staatskapelle submits a resolution on the »true democratization of our society« to the GDR government. On October 7 and 8, the Staatskapelle gives guest performances at the newly built Parisian »Operá Bastille«. On November 5, the Staatskapelle performs a »Concert against Violence« at the Berlin Gethsemane Church under conductor Rolf Reuter. On November 9, the GDR borders are opened: the Berlin Wall is breached.
    On December 18 and 19, Yehudi Menuhin conducts Staatskapelle concerts in the major broadcasting hall of the radio station Sender Freies Berlin »For the Reconstruction of derelict city centres in the GDR«.

    On October 3, the GDR is joined with the German Federal Republic. From October 15 to December 6, the Staatsoper embarks on the longest Japanese guest tour since its existence.

    On December 30, Daniel Barenboim signs his contract as Artistic Director and General Musical Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Georg Quander assumes General Directorship. On the same day, Daniel Barenboim conducts his first concert with the Staatskapelle, featuring Beethoven´s 9th Symphony.

    Daniel Barenboim´s first opera at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden is Wagner´s »Parsifal«on October 25.

    Wagner´s »Walküre« on December 12 inaugurates a new production of the »Ring des Nibelungen« cycle under Barenboim´s baton, followed by »Siegfried« on November 5, 1994.

    The Staatsoper Unter den Linden together with Baremboim perform Beethoven´s »Fidelio« and a series of Beethoven concerts at the Parisian Théâtre du Châtelet from April 19 to 29.

    Between March 31 and April 8, the first of the annual Easter FESTTAGE take place. The first FESTTAGE are celebrated with the first performance of Wagner´s »Ring des Nibelungen« in Harry Kupfer´s new production as a cycle with Daniel Barenboim.

    On February 23, Alban Berg´s »Lulu« premieres for the first time at the Staatsoper. On May 25, »Tanzstunden – ein Ballett-Triptychon« by Hans Werner Henze has its First Night. The Orchestra Academy for the recruitment of junior talent is founded on October 2.

    Claudio Abbado conducts the First Night of »Falstaff« on February 15, his début with the Staatskapelle.

    In August the »West-Eastern Divan Workshop« founded by Daniel Barenboim together with the Palestinian philologist Edward Said is conducted in Weimar for the first time. Young musicians from Israel and Arabic countries come together in musical creativity. Since then many Staatskapelle musicians have joined as project mentors. On September 16 Daniel Barenboim conducts the first Berlin performance of Arnold Schönberg´s »Von heute auf morgen«. Elliott Carter´s »What next?« also premieres with Barenboim. The 1999 | 2000 season sees Michael Gielen as Principal Guest Conductor.

    »Robert le Diable« by Giacomo Meyerbeer is performed in the new critical edition on March 11 for the first time with Marc Minkowski. On April 18 »The last Supper« by Harrison Birtwistle is performed for the first time. From May 9 to 24, Daniel Barenboim in his roles as conductor and soloist performs the complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies and piano concerts both at the Großer Musikvereinssaal Wien and the Konzerthaus Berlin. On November 9, the Staatskapelle and Daniel
    Barenboim take part in the demonstration »For Humanity and Tolerance« with a concert at the Brandenburg Gate. From December 10 to 17, the Staatskapelle tours in the U.S., featuring, for example the Beethoven cycle at the New York Carnegie Hall. In the autumn of the same year Daniel Barenboim is elected lifetime conductor by the Staatskapelle.

    At the beginning of the FESTTAGE 2001 on April 8, the First Night of Wagner´s »Fliegenden Holländer« concludes the ten-part- joint production cycle project with Daniel Barenboim as conductor, Harry Kupfer as director and Hans Schavernoch for the stage sets. From July 4 to 8, the Staatskapelle performs in Jerusalem. Following passionate discussions with the audience, Barenboim, as an encore to the 3rd concert, conducts the prelude to Wagner´s »Tristan und Isolde«. On September 16, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Berliner Philharmonic Orchestra along with the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin come together in a concert at the Philharmonic titled »In Friendship and Solidarity«. It is a gesture of solidarity and empathy with the victims of September 11 in the U.S.

    Between January 2 and February 15, the Staatsoper is again on tour in Japan. The »Ring des Nibelungen« and symphonic concerts are the highlights in Tokio and Yokohama. The FESTTAGE 2002 celebrate the ten major works of Richard Wagner in two cycles.
    At Orviedo in Spain, Daniel Barenboim und Edward Said are awarded the prize »Príncipe de Asturias« for their dedicated encouragement of a dialogue between nations. In November Daniel Barenboim is awarded the »Tolerance Prize« of the Protestant Academy of Tutzing and the National Award »Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern« by the Federal Republic of Germany.
    At the beginning of the 2002 | 2003 season Peter Mussbach assumes the post of General Director at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden.

    In February Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle receive a Grammy for their recording of Wagner´s. In March 2003, Barenboim and the Staatskapelle are honoured with the Wilhelm Furtwängler Prize.

    In January the Staatskapelle and Barenboim perform a cycle of Schumann Symphonies during their tour of Chicago and New York. In March Daniel Barenboim receives the Buber-Rosenzweig-Medal from the German Coordination Committee for his endeavours for peace in the Near East. In May 2004, he is awarded the arts prize founded by the Wolf foundation at the Knesset in Jerusalem.
    On October 14, the music theatre project »Takemitsu My Way of Life« by Toru Takemitsu is conducted by Kent Nagano and directed by Peter Mussbach.

    The FESTTAGE in 2005, from March 19 to 28 at the Philharmonic and the Opera House, bear the motto »Hommage à Pierre Boulez«in honour of his 80th birthday. On June 23, Hans Zender´s opera »Chief Joseph« conducted by Johannes Kalitzke and directed by Peter Mussbach is performed for the first time. In June/July, Daniel Barenboim plays Beethoven´s complete piano sonata works in a series of eight concerts. It is the third time after 2000 and 2004 that the Staatskapelle is elected »Orchestra of the Year« by the Opernwelt magazine.

    Commemorating Mozart´s 250th birthday, a series of concerts celebrates the event from December 7, 2005, to January 27, 2006. The Staatskapelle tours the U.S. extensively in February. Other venues are Vienna, Granada, Lucerne, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Madrid and Paris.
    Pascal Dusapin´s opera »Faustus, The Last Night« is premiered on January 21, conducted by Michael Boder and directed by Peter Mussbach.
    While giving a series of guest performances with the Staatskapelle at Vienna, Daniel Barenboim receives the international Ernst von Siemens Music Award during a special ceremony.

  • Musicians


    Honorary Conductors

    Honorary Members

    1st Violin

    2nd Violin














    Orchestra kit managers

  • Vacancies



    The Staatskapelle Berlin is seeking

    as of now

    one 1st concertmaster
    two associate principal 2nd violins
    one associate principal viola 
    one principal double-bass
    one 2nd Violin (tutti)
    one bass trombone

    from 01.02.2016
    one 2./3. Oboe with English Horn (50% for 1 year)

    from 01.03.2016
    one associate principal violoncello

    Orchestral passages will be noted in the invitation to auditions.
    Salaries according to the Staatskapelle Berlin tariff rates.

    Applications should include standard documents (cover letter, curriculum vitae, diploma certificate, photo etc. - in copy, as they will not be returned) and be addressed to:

    Stiftung Oper in Berlin
    Staatsoper im Schiller Theater – Orchesterdirektion
    Bismarckstr. 110
    D-10625 Berlin

  • Contact

    General Musical Director  
    Daniel Barenboim  
    Personal Assistant to the General Musical Director  
    Antje Werkmeister  
    Orchestra director  
    Clara Marrero  
    Tel +49 30 20354 374  
    Fax +49 30 20354 676  
    Orchestra manager  
    Thomas Küchler  
    Tel +49 30 20354 232  
    Fax +49 30 20354 231  
    Concert dramaturgy  
    Detlef Giese  
    Tel +49 30 20354 252  
    Fax +49 30 20354 676  
    Orchestra bureau | Orchestra academy
    Alexandra Uhlig  
    Tel +49 30 20354 285 
    Fax +49 30 20354 231

    Orchestra bureau
    Amra Kötschau-Krilic
    Tel +49 30 20354 230  
    Fax +49 30 20354 231
    Orchestra inspector  
    Uwe Timptner  
    Tel +49 30 20354 233  
    Fax +49 30 20354 231  
    Staatsoper im Schiller Theater  
    Staatskapelle Berlin  
    Bismarckstraße 110  
    10625 Berlin