Germans propose merging three town orchestras

Ever since Slipped Disc first came onto the scene, the Bergische Symphoniker of Remscheid and Solingen has been popping up as an orchestra in deep financial distress, losing 300,000 Euros a year.

Remscheid and Solingen merged their orchestras in 1995.

Now local officials are suggesting a Berger merger with a bigger town, Wuppertal.

Will three towns go into one orchestra?



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  • “Now local officials are suggesting a Berger merger with a bigger town, Wuppertal.”

    You can remove the “Now” from that sentence, Norman and replace it with ‘Yet again’.
    The debate about merging the Bergische Symphoniker and the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal has been around for nearly half a decade now.

  • Please keep in perspective that these are already very small towns crammed into one of the most densely populated areas in Europe, with important centers as Cologne, Düsseldorf, and many high quality secondary arts centers as Bonn, Essen, Dortmund all within one hour of train travel. There are a lot of touring orchestras as well, there is no absence of culture. The sky is not falling with this announcement.

    • Cologne, Bielefeld, Gelsenkirchen, Aachen, Wuppertal, Bonn, Münster, Hagen, Gütersloh – all cities in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine Westphalia, and all run respected theatres/opera companies. Looking at the season 2016/17 they make do with small productions but are also adventurous enough to avoid a diet of Carmen, Traviata, Bohème, etc. Instead we have, amongst more popular fare, Britten, Reich, Zimmermann, Rota, Dalbarie, Weinberg, Oehring, Menotti, Frid, Staud, Vollmer, Adès, Adams, Glass, Hahn, Henze, Battistelli, HK Gruber.
      These cities struggle to support a theatre for opera, drama and in most cases a ballet of some sort. The local population is (still) prepared to pay for culture in their communities. Here, in London and Birmingham, we want world class stars and orchestras. Imagine a city in Germany the size of (Greater) Birmingham without its own opera company!
      And Brexit might make matters even worse.

  • What happens with such a merger?

    Does the one orchestra perform in all three former locations, rotate amongst them, or pick one as a permanent perch?

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