The Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, also known as The Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin (RSB), was established in 1923. As the oldest German radio orchestra, the RSB has gained a place in the top tier of European concert orchestras. The orchestra’s chief conductors have all helped in sharing a remarkable sound during the changing circumstances of 20th century German history in a unique way. Ever since its starting point, the RSB has enjoyed a close relationship with contemporary music. Eminent composers of the twentieth century have come to the orchestra personally or have performed their own works there as soloists, including Paul Hindemith, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Sergei Prokofiev, Richard Strauss, Arnold Schonberg, Igor Stravinsky and many more.
As a result of the orchestra’s close relationship with Deutchlandradio, the main shareholder in the Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre (roc) Berlin, and with Radio Berlin-Brandenburg, almost all of their concerts are broadcast on Deutschlandradio Kultur or kulturradio by rbb. This collaboration with the German radio is also immensely beneficial in terms of recording releases. For the past three years, the orchestra has been occupied with media broadcasts of the concertante Wagner cycle in association with the Dutch labelPentatone. All of their ten live recording were released by the end of 2013 and evoked an immediate international response. Since spring 2014, another remarkable and widely praised addition to their repertoire became available on the market, the entire edition of symphonies by Hans Werner Henze. The orchestra is also releasing recordings through the labels Sony Classical and CPO.
The Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin is currently working closely together with the renowned conductor Marek Janowski for the thirteenth season. The conductor’s motto, "there is always room to improve on the perfection of the orchestra’s sound", is evident as a quality improvement after every single concert the orchestra performs. The audience, but also the orchestra itself and the public media, have shown an intense interest in the RSB’s carefully conceived projects, which regularly supplement the essential, standard 19th and 20th century repertoire with new ideas and re-discoveries. The orchestra has assured the chief conductor a life-long position, and ever since then the orchestra has been developing its quality.
The orchestra’s guests include experienced masters like Kurt Masur, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, and these have also contributed to the RSB’s repertoire. Andrea Marcon brings out the orchestra’s skill in playing music from the Bach era, Frank Strobel guarantees exemplary concerts of film music, and Heiko Mathias Forster is extending the RSB’s commitment to ‘Wagner for Children’ with the ‘Ring of Nibelungen’. Besides symphonic and chamber music concerts, radio recordings and CD releases, the orchestra also features special concerts for families and children. They take a special interest in ambitious projects for the younger generation, sharing their knowledge with great commitment and sensitivity.
The RSB performs in prestigious national and international venues besides Berlin for over 50 years now. They regularly tour across Taiwan, Korea and Japan as well as making guest appearances at European festival and in German centres of music.