View of the Leipzig Gewandhaus on Augustusplatz, home to the famous Gewandhaus Orchestra and a true landmark of Music City Leipzig, cultural venue
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275 years of the Gewandhaus Orchestra

275 years of the Gewandhaus Orchestra

The Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig's Gewandhaus in Augustusplatz during a concert, city of music, cultural venue, sights, events
The Gewandhaus Orchestra the largest professional orchestra in the world. © Gert Mothes

In 2018, the traditional ensemble celebrates its 275-year orchestral history.

Founded in 1743, the concert company initially consisted of sixteen Leipzig merchants and played an important role in the city's musical life. They played at festivals in the Town Hall, lent a musical hand to church services, participated in theatrical productions and wrote musical history under the name "Großes Concert". Once their first performance locations were no longer big enough, the orchestra moved into the Gewandhaus – the attic of the former "Tuchmacher" commercial hall which was converted into a concert room. The first "Gewandhaus concert" took place there on November 1781.

Extraordinary musicians and composers, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Wagner, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss conducted the Gewandhaus Orchestra throughout its history. At the beginning of the 2017/2018 season, a new conductor will take on the position of Gewandhaus music director. For the former's inauguration and the 275th jubilee, Andris Nelsons shall present himself in a total of 11 concerts with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, over the course of the festival weeks from 18 February to 23 March.

Even though many things have changed in Leipzig over the years, one thing remains certain: The Gewandhaus orchestra performs both in the Gewandhaus as well as in the Opera House, and joins the St. Thomas choir in the St. Thomas Church. Through its participation in concerts, musical theatre and church music, the 180-strong orchestra has earned its global reputation.