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Inspiring Throughout History.

The Bavarian State Orchestra.

500 years of the Bavarian State Orchestra

The Bavarian State Orchestra is celebrating its five hundredth anniversary this year, making it one of the oldest and most traditional ensembles in the world. Based in the Bavarian State Opera, the orchestra performs both in the orchestra pit and on the concert platform. In 2023, the orchestra was voted Orchestra of the Year for the ninth time in a row in Opernwelt magazine's critics' poll, and in 2022 it was also honored at the Gramophone Awards in London for its recordings on the Bayerische Staatsoper Recordings label as an opera and symphony orchestra (for Die tote Stadt and The Snow Queen as well as for Mahler's Symphony No. 7) - an unprecedented success in the history of the Gramophone Awards.
The Bavarian State Orchestra emerged from the Munich Court Orchestra, whose origins can be traced back to the year 1523. The ensemble's first famous conductor was Orlando di Lasso from 1563 onwards. While church music was initially the focus of artistic activity, more and more secular concerts and opera performances were added over the course of the 17th century. In the middle of the 18th century, regular opera performances began, which remain an essential task of the orchestra to this day. The premieres of Mozart's La finta giardiniera (1775) and Idomeneo (1781) soon became the first highlights.

The Bavarian State Orchestra.

Im Jahre 1811 wurde von den Musikern des Hoforchesters der Verein der Musikalischen Akademie gegründet, der mit den Akademiekonzerten die erste Konzertreihe Münchens ins Leben rief. Bis heute ist die Musikalische Akademie mit ihren symphonischen, kammermusikalischen und musikpädagogischen Aktivitäten ein prägender Bestandteil des Musiklebens Münchens und Bayerns.

In 1811, members of the court orchestra founded the Musikalische Akademie e.V. association, which launched Munich's first public concert series with the Academy Concerts and subsequently presented artists such as Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Edvard Grieg to Munich audiences. To this day, the Musikalische Akademie and its activities continue to shape the musical life of Munich and the Free State of Bavaria. In addition to the symphonic concerts in the National Theatre and various chamber music series, the association also supports the ATTACCA Youth Orchestra and the Hermann-Levi-Academy, which are dedicated to supporting and training instrumentalists at the beginning of their careers.

As part of the Bayerisches Staatsorchester Konzert GmbH, the Musikalische Akademie also organizes and is responsible for its own orchestral tours and symphonic guest performances. These regularly take the orchestra to international music capitals such as Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Lucerne, Paris, London, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and New York. There was also a big trip in the anniversary year - in September, the Bavarian State Orchestra performed a total of eleven concerts in nine cities and seven countries: Merano, Lucerne, Hamburg, Berlin, Bucharest, London, Paris, Linz and Vienna.

Among the great composers with whom the orchestra was associated, Richard Wagner stands out. In 1865, Hans von Bülow conducted the world premiere of Tristan und Isolde at the Nationaltheater. Three of Wagner's other operas also premiered in Munich: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868), Das Rheingold (1869) and Die Walküre (1870). Many of the most important musical personalities of their time served as chief conductors of the orchestra: from Hermann Levi, Richard Strauss, Felix Mottl, Bruno Walter and Hans Knappertsbusch to Sir Georg Solti, Joseph Keilberth, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano and Kirill Petrenko. The orchestra also had a close relationship with Carlos Kleiber.

Vladimir Jurowski took over as Bavarian General Music Director of the Bavarian State Orchestra in the 2021/22 season.






Jonas Hacker.

Joseph Calleja unfortunately had to cancel the Advent benefit concert due to illness - we would like to take this opportunity to wish him all the best and a speedy recovery. We are very pleased that Jonas Hacker will enrich the Advent Benefit Concert this year and stand in for Mr. Calleja.

Jonas Hacker comes from Lake Delton, Wisconsin, and studied at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. During his studies, he sang major Mozart roles such as Tamino, Don Ottavio and Ferrando, as well as Lindoro in Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri. His bachelor's degree at the University of Wisconsin was followed by a master's degree at the University of Michigan. He made his debut as Ferrando at the Annapolis Opera in 2015 and was a Grand Finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2016. He made his European debut at the Theater St. Gallen with the role of Boy/Young King in George Benjamin's Lessons in Love and Violence. He was awarded the Robert Jacobson Award in 2017. He has been a member of the Bavarian State Opera ensemble since the 2021/22 season and has sung roles including Tamino, Hylas (Les Troyens), Basilio (Le nozze di Figaro), Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Sladek (Giuditta), Hirte (Tristan und Isolde) and Tanzmeister (Ariadne auf Naxos). At the 2023 Munich Opera Festival, he appeared on stage as Apollo (Semele), Second Nazarene (Salome) and A Shepherd (Tristan and Isolde). In the 2023/24 season, he can be seen at the Nationaltheater Munich in the roles of Arbace (Idomeneo), Joe (Lafanciulla del West), Walther von der Vogelweide (Tannhäuser) and Jaquino (Fidelio), among others.

Thomas Guggeis.

Thomas Guggeis, born in Dachau, studied conducting at the University of Music and Theatre in Munich and at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan and began his career as a répétiteur and assistant to Daniel Barenboim at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. In 2018, he moved to the Stuttgart State Opera as Kapellmeister, where he conducted La bohème, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Madama Butterfly, Der Prinz von Homburg and Der Freischütz, among others. In 2019, now appointed Staatskapellmeister, a title created especially for him, he returned to the Berlin State Opera, where he conducted the new production of Daphne and, among others, Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Samson et Dalila, La traviata, Falstaff, Káťa Kabanová, Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Ariadne auf Naxos, Elektra, Der fliegende Holländer, Lohengrin and Der Ring des Nibelungen. Guest engagements have taken him to the Semperoper Dresden, the Theater an der Wien, the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Santa Fe Opera Festival, among others.As a concert conductor, he has appeared with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Bern Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, among others. From the 2023/24 season, Thomas Guggeis will be General Music Director of Oper Frankfurt, where he will conduct the new productions of Le nozze di Figaro, Le Grand Macabre and Tannhäuser alongside revivals of Don Carlo and Elektra and also conduct the museum concerts in the Alte Oper Frankfurt.

Mirjam Mesak.

Mirjam Mesak, born in Tallinn/Estonia, received her musical training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, among others. She also attended masterclasses with Graham Johnson, Edith Wiens, Brigitte Fassbaender and Julius Drake, among others. She made her debut at the Clonter Opera Theatre as Mimì (La bohème). Guest appearances have taken her to British and German concert halls such as Milton Court Concert Hall and Wigmore Hall as well as the Meistersingerhalle in Nuremberg and the Kulturpalast in Dresden, where she has dedicated herself to concert and lieder repertoire. In 2019, she was honoured with the Bavarian Arts Award in the performing arts category. She was a member of the Bavarian State Opera's opera studio from the 2018/19 season and joined the ensemble in the 2020/21 season, singing roles such as Tebaldo (Don Carlo), Musetta (La bohème), Julietta (Die tote Stadt), Jano (Jenůfa) and the title role in Iolanta. In September 2022, the film Orphea in Love by director Axel Ranisch premiered at the Bayerische Staatsoper with Mirjam Mesak in the leading role. Roles in the 2023/24 season include: Frasquita (Carmen), Musetta (La bohème), Ines (Il trovatore) and Xenia (Boris Godunov).

Florian Gmelin.

Florian Gmelin studied at the University of Music and Theatre in Munich with Matthias Weber and Thomas Jauch. He was a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the European Union Youth Orchestra as well as a scholarship holder of the Munich Orchestra Academy. From 2002 to 2008 he was principal bass with the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra. He has held the same position in the Bavarian State Orchestra since the 2008/09 season. He has also been a board member of the Musikalische Akademie for many years.

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