Is this the oldest German orchestra?

The Badische Staatskapelle of Karlsruhe will launch its 350th anniversary on Monday. It was formed as a court orchestra in 1662 and has been going strong ever since.

In November 1876, it gave the world premiere of the first symphony by Johannes Brahms, conducted by Felix Otto Dessoff.

Justin Brown, a British conductor, is the present music director. Can anyone name an older full-time orchestra?

This is from a current production at the theatre, Der Mann die Welt Ass. Wonder how it got that name. Here’s the website.


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    • The Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden is arguably the oldest top notch orchestra.

      According to the Wikipedia, the Orchester des Staatstheaters Kassel is the oldest German orchestra with continuous operation. Like so many regional German orchestras, it has been a place for young conductors to cut their teeth. From 1883 to 1885 its second Kapellmeister and chorus director was Gustav Mahler.

  • The Royal Danish Orchestra call them selves the oldest orchestra in the world, and can trace their history back to 1448: Even more incredible is the fact that there is a numbered list of all musicians ever employed.

  • “Der Mann die Welt Ass. Wonder how it got that name.”
    To be precise it’s “Der Mann, der die Welt aß” and means “The man who ate the world”.

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