Photo: Jens Gerber


275th Anniversary of the Gewandhausorchester – “Premieres Orchestra”

Leipzig Gewandhaus, Germany


The Gewandhaus Orchestra is one of the oldest civic orchestras in the world and one of its most acclaimed bodies of musicians. Since its founding in 1743 by Leipzig nobility and bourgeoisie it has stood for a lively musical tradition. The 2017/2018 season sees the celebration of the 275th anniversary of the Gewandhaus Orchestra. This anniversary provides an opportunity for a retrospective as well as the departure into a new era: across the entire anniversary season historic premieres of the Gewandhaus Orchestra will be supported by the EvS Music Foundation – indeed, particularly in the 18th and 19th century the orchestra performed a wide range of premieres or the first work cycles of key composers worldwide – and these will be juxtaposed with new composition commissions.

The Gewandhaus’ new musical director Andris Nelsons will contrast these “historic premieres” with works newly created for the Gewandhaus Orchestra by Wolfgang Rihm, Steffen Schleiermacher and Thomas Larcher. Furthermore, he will be appointing a Gewandhaus composer for the first time in the form of Jörg Widmann. Performed alongside the new orchestral work at the Grand Concert will be Widmann’s viola and piano concerto (Funeral March) as well as a new work for the Gewandhaus Orchestra and vocal ensemble.

As part of a family concert the “old and new” theme will be playfully presented and a historic premiere (Wagner’s Meistersingers Overture) will be contrasted with a work commissioned for this concert; here the Gewandhaus Orchestra is co-commissioning a double concert for violin and violoncello by Pascal Dusapin. The Gewandhaus Quartet also picks up on the theme in a cycle of historic and new premieres: as part of this a work by James MacMillan will be written for the Gewandhaus Quartet. In the anniversary season the Gewandhaus Wind Quintet and the Gewandhaus Brass Quintet will present chamber music especially composed for them by Georg Christoph Biller and Kevin McKee. A leading vocal music composer in the form of Ēriks Ešenvalds will also add to the repertoire of the Gewandhaus Choirs with a new work.


Saison 2017/18

Further Information