With ancestry stretching back to late medieval times, the Staatskapelle Weimar has deeper roots than almost any other German musical ensemble. Like many other German orchestras active in the 18th and 19th centuries, it has been associated with a theater, the present-day Deutsches Nationaltheater in Weimar. The orchestra started life well before that, in 1482, as the Herzoglichen Hofkapelle or Ducal Court Ensemble. As Weimar evolved into the capital of an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire and then into a major cultural center, the ensemble was renamed the Weimar Staatskapelle (Weimar State Ensemble) and finally the Staatskapelle Weimar. Its membership roster down through the centuries includes perhaps a greater concentration of talent than any other ensemble: Hermann Schein was a member of the orchestra; Bach was its organist and ...
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