Danish National Chamber Orchestra

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Danish National Chamber Orchestra

Chamber Orchestra

• Founded 1939

Biography

The Danish National Chamber Orchestra was associated with Denmark's national radio network, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, until 2014, when it was discontinued due to funding cuts. Relaunched with the help of social media fundraising techniques, the orchestra has experimented with new forms of music-making, including collaborations with artists outside the classical sphere.

The Danish National Chamber Orchestra traces its roots back to 1927, as Louis Preil's Dance Orchestra. The orchestra was often featured on Danish Radio, which in 1939 brought the group under its wing as the DR Underholdningsorkester (Danish Radio Entertainment Orchestra). Since then, the group has performed musicals and pops concerts as well as core classical repertory. The orchestra performed major outdoor concerts with both Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo in the 1990s. Conductor Adam Fischer made his first appearance with the orchestra in 1997 and was elevated to chief conductor two years later. He focused on classical works including a prize-winning cycle of Mozart's symphonies on recordings, released in individual volumes on the Dacapo label in 2012 and 2013.

The orchestra was disbanded in 2014 when the Danish Broadcasting Corporation cut funding, but the group launched a Kickstarter campaign while also seeking support from Danish corporations. The effort has been initially successful: in 2015, the orchestra became Denmark's first to exist with solely private funding, and it was renamed Danmarks Underholdningsorkester (Denmark's Entertainment Orchestra); in English, the names Danish National Chamber Orchestra and Danish Chamber Orchestra have continued to be used.

Fischer has remained as conductor and has overseen a vigorous recording program including, on the Naxos label in 2019, a new cycle of Beethoven's symphonies. Meanwhile, the orchestra states on its website that "we want to push the limits of what a classical orchestra can do!" The year 2019 saw the group collaborate in concert with Danish pop singers Lis Sørensen and Pernille Rosendahl.

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