“Listening to the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn (...) is pure joy. (...) the compelling characteristics of this ensemble: agile music-making, combining esprit with clear, intelligible contours, and on top of that, a warm sound whose intensity should not be taken for granted in a chamber orchestra.” Süddeutsche Zeitung, April 2018
The Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn (WKO) considers itself an international sound manufacture, pursuing the goal of an unmistakable chamber orchestra sound with passion and inspiration. Here, the ideal of vibrant chamber music-making merges with the individual craft of each orchestral musician, resulting in benchmark interpretations. Always endeavouring to cultivate an emotional and sensuous sound, it builds bridges to its audience through artistic diversity: from large-scale chamber music to symphonic works closely examined, from classical repertoire to 20th-century works. Starting with the 2018/2019 season, Case Scaglione is the chief conductor of the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn.
Convinced of the value of touring, the orchestra has impressed a national and international audience. This season, the WKO is featured in the series “Vienna Classics Munich” (Musikerlebnis) of orchestral portraits at the Herkulessaal. Touring highlights of recent years include the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Vienna’s Musikverein, Berlin’s Philharmonie, Cologne’s Philharmonie, as well as tours through Korea, Cambodia and Spain. In 2019 the WKO embarks upon another tour of China with several concerts.
The orchestra also champions musical diversity at home, upholding the highest standards of quality. With its subscription series in Heilbronn and Ulm, the innovative concert series redblue meets klassik in cooperation with INTERSPORT, the KSK Chamber Music Series featuring WKO musicians, 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.
The quality and excellence of the orchestra is also demonstrated in regular exchange with outstanding artist personalities: Avi Avital, Rudolf Buchbinder, Augustin Hadelich, Håkan Hardenberger, Sharon Kam, Felix Klieser, Harriet Krijgh, Katia & Marielle Labèque, Bejun Mehta, Sabine Meyer, Johannes Moser, Andreas Ottensamer, Linus Roth, Olga Scheps, Herbert Schuch, Daniel Müller-Schott, Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, Carolin Widmann and Frank Peter Zimmermann are among its soloist partners in concert and on CD recordings. Guest conductors such as Tung-Chieh Chuang and Andreas Spering as well as “play and lead” artists such as Alexander Lonquich, Alina Pogostkina and Andreas Steier add valuable impulses to the orchestra’s sound.
Among the most recent CD recordings of the ECHO Classic Award-winning orchestra is a contribution to the Bernstein Centennial, Bernstein-Haydn with Kolja Blacher (Coviello Classics), the debut CD of the flutist Kathrin Christians, Feld, Weinberg, Theodorakis (Hänssler Classic) and the album Bachiana with the saxophone player Asya Fateyeva (Berlin Classics.) For the CD „Feld Weinberg Theodorakis“ with Kathrin Christians (flute) the WKO received an OPUS Classic Award in 2018.
The WKO was founded by Prof. Jörg Faerber in 1960. During his more than 40 years at the orchestra’s helm (1960-2002), he established the WKO on the international music scene through visionary first recordings and numerous tours. Under its artistic director Ruben Gazarian (2002-2018) the orchestra expanded its repertoire and forged a distinctive sound, performing numerous works from the romantic era, early modernism and the avant-garde.
Since 2012 the orchestra has been under the auspices of the Foundation Württemberg Chamber Orchestra 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.
Changes or cuts to this biography require the approval of the administration of the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn.