Münchner Symphoniker

Münchner Symphoniker

Symphony Orchestra

• Founded 1945


The Münchner Symphoniker or Munich Symphony Orchestra proclaims itself "the Sound of Our City" on its website, and as a concert ensemble its main activities have been in Munich, Bavaria, and other parts of southern Germany. The orchestra has also been known especially for its work performing film scores.

The Münchner Symphoniker was founded in 1945 by Kurt Graunke and was named the Graunke Symphony Orchestra until 1990; Graunke remained the orchestra's conductor until 1989. The group's first concert was given on September 25, 1945, as a benefit for the Red Cross in Munich. In 1949, the orchestra gave its first subscription concert, and its season gradually increased to some 100 concerts a year, most of them now at the Herkluessaal, the Prinzregententheater, and the Philharmonie am Gasteig in Munich. The orchestra's conductors have all been German: Graunke was succeeded by Christoph Stepp, Heiko Mathias Förster, Georg Schmöhe, and, since 2014, Kevin John Edusei, who is of Ghanaian-German background.

From a world viewpoint, the Münchner Symphoniker is best known for performing film scores; it has recorded more than 500 of them, by no means all German and many of them quite prominent. They include such cinematic classics as Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty (1959), featuring a score of music by Tchaikovsky adapted by Georg Bruns; the 1975 adventure film The Wind and the Lion, scored by Jerry Goldsmith; and The Silence of the Lambs (1991), with its score by Howard Shore. The orchestra also performed on the soundtrack to the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

The orchestra's recordings have been divided among film scores, crossover projects like 1992's Plays ABBA Classics, and standard orchestral repertory. In 2019, the orchestra released an album featuring Schubert's Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, D. 485, and Symphony No. 6 in C major, D. 589 ("Little C major"), with Edusei conducting.