|Alternative Spellings||Gewandhausorchester, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig|
Johann Adam Hiller
Felix Mendelssohn - Conductor from 1835 to 1847
Niels Gade - Conductor from 1844 to 1848
Wilhelm Furtwängler - Conductor from 1922 to 1928
Bruno Walter (Bruno Schlesinger) - Conductor from 1929 to 1933
Hermann Abendroth - Conductor from 1934 to 1945
Václav Neumann - Conductor from 1964 to 1968
Kurt Masur - Conductor from 1970 to 1996
Herbert Blomstedt - Conductor from 1998 to 2005
Riccardo Chailly - Conductor from 2005 to 2016
The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is a German symphony orchestra based in Leipzig, Germany. The orchestra is named after the concert hall in which it is based, the Gewandhaus (Cloth Hall or Textile Hall). In addition to its concert duties, the orchestra also performs frequently in the Thomaskirche and as the official opera orchestra of the Leipzig Opera.
The orchestra's origins can be traced to 1743, when a society called the Grosses Concert began performing in private homes. In 1744 the Grosses Concert moved its concerts to the "Three Swans" Tavern. Their concerts continued at this venue for 36 years, until 1781. In 1780, because of complaints about concert conditions and audience behavior in the tavern, the mayor and city council of Leipzig offered to renovate one story of the Gewandhaus (the building used by textile merchants) for the orchestra's use. The orchestra gave its first concert in the Gewandhaus in 1781. The orchestra thus has a good claim to being the oldest continuing orchestra in Germany founded by the bourgeoisie.
In 1835, Felix Mendelssohn became the orchestra's music director, with the traditional title of Gewandhauskapellmeister, and held the post until his death in 1847. In 1885, the orchestra moved into a new hall. This was destroyed by bombing in 1944. The present Gewandhaus is the third building with the name. It was opened in 1981.
Later principal conductors included Arthur Nikisch, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, and Václav Neumann. From 1970 to 1996, Kurt Masur was Gewandhauskapellmeister, and he and the orchestra made a number of recordings for the Philips label. From 1998 to 2005, Herbert Blomstedt held the same position, and they in turn made several recordings for the Decca label. Blomstedt currently holds the title of conductor laureate with the orchestra, while Masur held the post jointly with Blomstedt until his death in 2015.
In 2005, Riccardo Chailly took over as both Gewandhauskapellmeister and music director of the Leipzig Opera, with an initial contract through 2010. In 2008, Chailly's first contract extension occurred, through 2015. However, he concurrently resigned as GMD of the Oper Leipzig, reportedly after conflict over the hiring of personnel without his consultation. In June 2013, the Gewandhausorchester further extended Chailly's contract through 2020. However, in September 2015, the orchestra announced the newly scheduled conclusion of Chailly's tenure as Gewandhauskapellmeister in June 2016, four years ahead of the previously agreed-upon contract extension, at Chailly's request. Wikipedia