Not long after it was established in 1949, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra) developed into an internationally renowned orchestra. The performance of new music enjoys an especially long tradition, and right from the beginning, appearances in theMusica Viva series, created by composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann <> in 1945, have ranked among the orchestra’s core activities. On extensive concert tours to virtually every country in Europe, to Asia as well as to North and South America, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks continually confirms its position in the first rank of top international orchestras.
The history of the Symphonieorchester is closely linked with the names of its previous Chief Conductors: Eugen Jochum (1949–1960), Rafael Kubelík (1961– 1979),Sir Colin Davis (1983–1992) and Lorin Maazel (1993–2002). In 2003, Mariss Jansons assumed his post as new Chief Conductor. With a number of album releases, among others a series of live recordings of concerts in Munich, Mariss Jansons continues the orchestra’s extensive discography. Maestro Jansons, the Chor and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks were honoured for their recording of the 13th Symphony ofShostakovich when they were awarded a Grammy in February of 2006 in the “Best Orchestral Performance” category.
In December, 2008, a survey conducted by the British music magazine Gramophone listed the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks among the ten best orchestras in the world. In 2010, Mariss Jansons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks received an ECHO Klassik Award in the category “Orchestra/Ensemble of the Year” for their recording ofBruckner’s 7th Symphony on BR-KLASSIK. The complete Beethoven symphonies, performed by the Symphonieorchester under Mariss Jansons in Tokyo in the autumn of 2012, were voted by the Music Pen Club Japan – the organisation of Japanese music journalists – as the best concerts by foreign artists in Japan in 2012.