Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn
The Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn (WKO) has set standards with its stylistically assured versatility and its implemented ideal of chamber music-making. Its emotional and sensuous sound culture is compelling in its use of a full palette of sound colours, from ethereal transparency to passionate romantic sounds. As a musical partner, the orchestra is acclaimed for its pronounced versatility and the art of musical dialogue among equals. Thus, the WKO has established itself as one of the world’s most sought-after chamber orchestras. Since 2002, Ruben Gazarian has influenced its style as chief conductor and artistic director.
The orchestra regularly undertakes numerous concert tours throughout Germany and abroad. Highlights of recent years include the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Victoria Hall in Geneva, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Vienna’s Musikverein, Berlin’s Philharmonie, Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle and Cologne’s Philharmonie, as well as tours through Korea, Cambodia, China and most recently Spain.
With its subscription series in Heilbronn and Ulm, the innovative concert series redblue meets klassik in cooperation with INTERSPORT, the KSK Chamber Music Series “Under the Pyramid", regular musical theatre cooperations with the Heilbronn Theatre and the music education programme KOPFHÖRER (“HEADPHONES") for babies, children and teenagers, the orchestra is a pillar of cultural life in its home region. Its latest youth project, FÜR DICH. (FOR YOU.), featured a valuable exchange with children from refugee and immigrant families, supporting integration.
Since its founding by Prof. Jörg Faerber in 1960, the WKO has worked with many renowned artists and has always supported rising young talents – not only in concert, but through CD recordings. Martha Argerich (CD), Maurice André (CD), Kolja Blacher, Alfred Brendel, Rudolf Buchbinder, Gautier Capuçon, Giora Feidman, Julia Fischer, Juan Diego Floréz, James Galway (CD), Evelyn Glennie, Hilary Hahn, Sharon Kam (CD), Vesselina Kasarova, Gidon Kremer, Katia & Marielle Labèque, Mischa Maisky, Sabine Meyer (CD), Wolfgang Meyer, Viktoria Mullova, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Sergei Nakariakov (CD), Christiane Oelze, Ivo Pogorelich, Thomas Quasthoff (CD), Christine Schäfer, Daniel Müller-Schott, Frank Peter Zimmermann (CD) and Tabea Zimmermann are some of the artists to have worked with the WKO.
This is also documented by the rich discography of the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn, which features far more than 500 works. In 2015 the WKO contributed to the project of recording the complete violin works by Mieczyslaw Weinberg with violinist Linus Roth. During the same year, a recording with the young French horn player Felix Klieser was released by Berlin Classics, featuring horn concerti by Joseph and Michael Haydn and W. A. Mozart. The orchestra’s most recent recording is a children’s CD with fairy-tales by Andersen, set to music by Andreas N. Tarkmann and narrated by Juri Tetzlaff and Malte Arkona. Plans for 2017 include releases of solo concerti of the classical era featuring cellist Valentin Radutiu as well as a contribution to the Bernstein anniversary in 2018 with Kolja Blacher as soloist and musical director.
The WKO’s recording of works by Johann Christian and Johann Wilhelm Hertel won an ECHO Klassik Award. Its recordings with chief conductor Ruben Gazarian also include simply strings with music by Britten, Bartók, Janácek and Sibelius, as well as a complete recording of Beethoven’s symphonies. Furthermore, a CD of Wagner’s Siegfried-Idyll and Bruckner’s String Quintet, a live recording from the 2012 Schubert Festival (the “Unfinished" and “Great C-Major Symphony"), OPERA! with clarinettist Sharon Kam as well as a CD with works by Armenian composers entitled Armenian Classic have recently been released.
Since 2012 the orchestra has been under the auspices of the Foundation (Stiftung) Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, made possible by 21 founding donors. The foundation secures the future of the ensemble through long-term development of the orchestra’s offerings in the region, on the national and international market.
Season 2016/2017 only. Changes or cuts to this biography require the approval of the administration of the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn.