The Bayerische Staatsorchester

The Bayerische Staatsorchester  is one of the most traditional orchestras in Germany and one of the best orchestras in the world today. It has been voted Orchestra of the Year for the tenth time by 50 international critics in surveys conducted by the magazine "Opernwelt".

The orchestra impresses with its versatility, both in the pit for opera and ballet performances and on stage for symphony and chamber concerts. The activities in Munich are complemented by numerous guest performances and concert tours, which regularly take the orchestra to the world's most important music centers. As the house orchestra, the Bayerische Staatsorchester with its 144 musicians performs in almost every performance of the Bayerische Staatsoper.

The Bayerische Staatsorchester can thus look back on a history of almost 500 years. This makes it one of the few cultural institutions whose tradition spans almost the entire history of European music. The orchestra has staged several world premieres, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Idomeneo or Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg as well as Das Rheingold and Die Walküre. Since the beginning, the most important artists of their time have served as music directors, from Richard Strauss, Hermann Levi, Bruno Walter and Hans Knappertsbusch to Georg Solti, Joseph Keilberth, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano and Kirill Petrenko. Beginning with the 2021-22 season, Vladimir Jurowski will assume the post of general music director.

The history of the Bayerische Staatsorchester began half a millennium ago. As early as 1523, there are the first employment records documenting the salaries of the permanently employed court musicians. From small beginnings in a courtly context, the orchestra gradually grew into a large opera orchestra, which soon also regularly performed symphonic works and, from the early 19th century, organized the first public concert series in Munich as part of the Musikalische Akademie. Today, the Bayerische Staatsorchester is one of the top international ensembles with members from twenty-four nations. In 2023, it celebrates its first 500 years and looks to the future from the perspective of this venerable tradition - music for all at the highest level.

Unplugged since 500 years


500 years of the Bayerische Staatsorchester means not only 500 years of musical excellence, but also 500 years of history and stories about the orchestra and its members. That's exactly what we display in #500, the digital magazine project of the Bayerische Staatsoper. In 500 glimpses of the orchestra, we look at details from the orchestra pit and the rehearsal room that usually remain hidden from the public. It's worth following, because #500 will be updated throughout the anniversary year, and there's always something new to discover.


The anniversary will be celebrated with many different formats and events. In addition to a large number of concerts, we want to celebrate our 500th anniversary together with you throughout the year, away from the stage or the orchestra pit.

Stay always up to date

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General Music Director


Vladimir Jurowski, born in Moscow, began his musical training at the city’s conservatory, continuing his journey at the colleges of music in Berlin and Dresden. At the Bayerische Staatsoper he made his debut during the 2015/16 season at an academy concert featuring works including Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 3 and went on to conduct a new production of the composer’s opera The Fiery Angel. Furthermore, during the 2020/21 season he conducted the new production of Der Rosenkavalier. He has been general music director of the Bayerische Staatsoper since autumn 2021.

Musicians of the Bayerisches Staatsorchester

Christian Loferer (Chairman)
Andreas Riepl (Vice-Chairman)
Dania Lemp

Ruth-Elena Schindel
Matjaž Bogataj
Giorgi Gvantseladze

Guido Gärtner

Martina Beck
Milena Viotti
Yves Savary
Stefan Ambrosius
Claudio Estay

Here you will find a list of the international guest conductors and instrumental soloists who will be working with the Bavarian State Orchestra in the 2021/22 season. A "(D)" after the name indicates who is making their debut in Munich this year.

Andrea Battistoni, Alexandre Bloch (D), Ivor Bolton, Gianluca Capuano (D), William Christie (D), Francesco Ivan Ciampa, Teodor Currentzis, Bertrand de Billy, Titus Engel (D), Antonino Fogliani, Mikko Franck (D), Edward Gardner (D), Valery Gergiev, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (D), Thomas Hengelbrock, Michail Jurowski, Gábor Káli (D), Lothar Koenigs, Francesco Lanzillotta (D), Fabio Luisi, Cristian Măcelaru, Antonello Manacorda, Ingo Metzmacher, Stefano Montanari (D), Daniel Oren, Evelino Pidò (D), Carlo Rizzi, Daniele Rustioni (1. guest conductor), Ulf Schirmer (D), Giedrė Šlekytė (D), Stefan Soltesz, Michele Spotti (D)

Leif Ove Andsnes (D), Francesco Bearzatti (D), Francesco Diodati (D), Gabriele Evangelista (D), Isabelle Faust, Giovanni Guidi (D), Gerold Huber, Stephan Matthias Lademann, Enrico Morello (D), Sophie Pacini (D), Antonio Pappano, Gianluca Petrella (D), Christian Poltéra (D), Jean-Guihen Queyras (D), Enrico Rava (D), Timothy Ridout (D), Anne Katharina Schreiber (D), Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider (D), Danusha Waskiewicz (D).


Meet the Musicians

Get to know selected musicians of the Bayerisches Staatsorchester in the video portraits of the “Meet the Musicians” series.


#14 – Stefan Ambrosius (Tuba)

Meet the Musicians #14: Stefan Ambrosius (Tuba)

#13 – Janis Olsson (violin)

Meet the Musicians #13: Janis Olsson (violin)

#12 Sven Strunkeit (trombone)

Meet the Musician #12: Sven Strunkeit (trombone)

#10 Milena Viotti (french horn)

Meet the musicians: Get to know the Bayerische Staatsorchester

#9 Wiebke Heidemeier und Clemens Gordon

Meet the Musicians #2: Wiebke Heidemeier and Clemens Gordon (Viola)

#8 Thomas März (percussion)

Meet the Musicians #3: Thomas März (Schlagzeug)

#7 Gaël Gandino (harp)

Meet the Musicians #4: Gaël Gandino, (Harp)

#6 Rupert Buchner (violoncello)

Meet the Musicians #5: Rupert Buchner (cello)

#5 So-Young Kim (first violin)

Meet the musicians #6: So-Young Kim (Violinist)

#4 Frank Bloedhorn (trumpet)

Meet the musicians #7: Frank Bloedhorn (Trumpet)

#3 Giorgi Gvantseladze (Oboe)

Meet the musicians #8: Giorgi Gvantseladze (Oboe)

#2 Alexandra Hengstebeck (double bass)

Meet the musicians: #9 Alexandra Hengstebeck (doublebass)

#1 Moritz Winker (bassoon)

Meet the musicians: #10 Moritz Winker (bassoon)