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Jena Philharmonic Orchestra

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Biography

With a long history in the musically rich German state of Thuringia, the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra (in German: Jenaer Philharmonie) has emerged on the international concert and recording scene since German reunification. The Philharmonic is notable for its inclusion of adult, boys, and madrigal choirs as full institutional components. The Jena Philharmonic was founded in 1934 as the Municipal Symphony Orchestra Jena, drawing for inspiration on the centuries-old traditions of the Jena Collegium Musicum and the concert life of the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. It became the Jena Symphony Orchestra and assumed its current name in 1969. The orchestra's conductor through the war years was Ernst Schwaßmann; he was succeeded by a sequence of German conductors until the appointment of the Russian Andrey Boreyko as Generalmusikdirektor in 1998. Remaining in that post until 2003 and then continuing his activities with the orchestra under the title of honorary director, Boreyko steered the Jena Philharmonic toward an expanded recording career with the German label Teldec. The group also recorded several albums in the late 1990s for the Arte Nova label under conductor David Montgomery, featuring not only German music but the second and fourth symphonies of American composer Howard Hanson. Recent music directors have included the Australian Nicholas Milton (2003-2010), the American Marc Tardue (2010-2017), and since 2017 the youthful German Simon Gaudenz, who celebrated his 30th birthday during the 2016-2017 season. In the middle and late 2010s the Philharmonic has returned to the recording studio, accompanying violinist Friedemann Eichhorn in a series of recordings devoted to the French violin virtuoso Pierre Rode. The Philharmonic retains its municipal roots in its devotion to music education, exemplified in projects such as Musicians in School, Music and Literature in Kindergarten, Students in the Orchestra, Hörprobe (Listen and Try It Out), and MusikInteraktiv.
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