The Brandenburger Symphoniker, or Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra, is a central ensemble in the cultural life of Germany's Brandenburg state and is also well known beyond that region and beyond Germany.
Founded in 1810, the Brandenburger Symphoniker is one of Germany's oldest and most distinctive orchestras. It has had a largely unbroken existence since then except for the last stages of World War II. The orchestra was established by a group of Prussian military musicians. In 1866, the group became associated with the Brandenburg Theater and was renamed the Orchester des Brandenburger Theaters. The connection with the theater remains today, and it was not until after German reunification that the orchestra was given its current name. Even before the fall of Communism in Germany, the orchestra was mounting international tours. It has appeared in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America, and has made guest appearances at the Festival MusicaMallorca in Spain and the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg festival in Germany. At home, the orchestra appears in the CulturCongressCentury in the city of Brandenburg an der Havel.
The Brandenburger Symphoniker is unusual among contemporary German orchestras in that all its conductors have been German. Michael Helmrath led the group for a 15-year stretch beginning in 2000, after which he was succeeded by Peter Gülke. The orchestra had already made several recordings on the Landscape Classics label, and Gülke has carried the group's recording program forward with new releases on the audiophile label MDG, including a release devoted to the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op 15, with pianist Dina Ugorskaja.