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The WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne (WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln) is a German orchestra based in Cologne. The orchestra was founded in 1947 by Allied occupation authorities after World War II, as the orchestra of Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR; Northwest German Radio). The orchestra was named Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester (Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra) and from the 1990s WDR Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra is particularly known for its performances of 20th-century and contemporary music. It has commissioned and premiered works from such composers as Luciano Berio, Hans Werner Henze, Mauricio Kagel, Krzysztof Penderecki, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Bernd Alois Zimmermann.

WDR-SO-02

The orchestra’s current principal conductor is Jukka-Pekka Saraste, as of the 2010-2011 season.

The orchestra has recorded commercially for such labels as Avie, Hänssler,Kairos and CPO.

Note that the broadcaster also hosts a separate symphony orchestra in Cologne, WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln, which generally specializes in more popular types of music, and is not to be confused with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln.

Principal conductors:

(Info Wikipedia)

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