A masterful combination of passionate, joyful music-making and knowledgeable interpretations – that is the Dresden Festival Orchestra. Founded in 2012 by the Dresden Music Festival, the ensemble for historically informed performance practice dedicates itself to the fascinating search for a work’s original sound – with a repertoire that focuses the late romantic era, its musicians have presented the results of their work in lively, gripping performances.
The orchestra’s vital and accomplished sound results from its international cast, with members who are at home in such renowned early music ensemble as the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the 18th Century, the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, the Concentus Musicus Wien, Il Giardino Armonico, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, Concerto Köln, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin or the English Baroque Soloists.
The varied insights and experiences form the basis of the orchestra’s fresh and authentic approach. Playing on original instruments of the time a given work was first performed and in keeping with historical knowledge, they breathe new life into yesterday’s sound.
Already at its celebrated premiere, the ensemble thrilled both audiences and critics. In recognition of this fact, the Dresden Festival Orchestra was nominated for the »International Opera Award« in 2015, offering a brilliant rediscovery of Richard Strauss’ opera »Feuersnot« (a coproduction with the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden).
Since 2012, Ivor Bolton has been Chief Conductor of the Dresdner Festspielorchester. Furthermore, the ensemble has worked with such conductors as Hans-Christoph Rademann, Johannes Klumpp, Josep Caballé Domenech, Stefan Klingele, Constantinos Carydis, David Robertson and Jean-Christophe Spinosi. A recent highlight was the performance of the complete symphonies by Schumann under the baton of Daniele Gatti. The Orchestra has shared the stage with high-carat soloists including Giuliano Carmignola, Isabelle Faust, Bejun Mehta, Waltraud Meier, Valer Sabadus, Nicola Benedetti, Thomas Zehetmair, Simone Kermes, René Pape, Martin Helmchen and Jan Lisiecki.
In addition to its acclaimed performances during the Festival, guest appearances have taken the orchestra to Berlin’s Philharmonie, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and to the Bogotá Music Festival, all as ambassadors of the Dresden Music Festival.
In 2023 the unique project »The Wagner Cycles«started in Dresden with the aim to perform Richard Wagner's »Der Ring des Nibelungen« in historical performance practice. Together with Concerto Köln and under the artistic direction of Kent Nagano and Jan Vogler the orchestra will reexamine, rehearse and perform the entire »Ring« on the basis of the most recent research on Wagner and historical performance practice. Following the premiere of »Das Rheingold« in Dresden and a tour with performances at the Kölner Philharmonie, the Ravello Festival and the Lucerne Festival, the 2024 season will have its focus on the »Die Walküre«.