The orchestra grew out of the Bilse Kapelle, which was established in the 1860s by Prussian composer and conductor Benjamin Bilse with 60 players. Entrepreneur Hermann Wolff oversaw its transition and growth as the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Ludwig von Brenner and then of Hans von Bülow, who invited composers including Brahms, Strauss and Tchaikovsky to be guest conductors. Hans Richter, Richard Strauss and others stepped in after Von Bülow died until Arthur Nikisch from Hungary was named resident conductor. He was succeeded in 1922 by Wilhelm Furtwängler, who was imprisoned during World War II. The orchestra survived through the conflict although its venue was bombed and in time Furtwängler resumed with Romanian Sergiu Celibidach until he died in 1954. Von Karajan took the baton the following year to be followed in 1989 by Italian Claudio Abbado, who remained until Simon Rattle took over permanently in 2002.
Celebrated for its lyrical qualities, the Berliner Philharmoniker has played and recorded not only the classic compositions but also works by contemporary composers such as Debussy and Stravinksy. It has attracted guest conductors including Felix von Weingartner, Edvard Grieg and Gustav Mahler. Great artists who have performed with the orchestra include Daniel Barenboim, Yehudi Menuhin and Luciano Pavarotti.
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Classical - Released November 27, 2020 | Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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