“I had hoped that I wouldn’t fall in love with another orchestra, but in fact I did.”
(Sir Simon Rattle on SWR Radio/Germany, November 2018)
The Freiburger Barockorchester (FBO) is one of today’s leading ensemble for historic performing practice. It has had a significant presence on the international music scene for more than 30 years, and continues to set musical standards with its concerts and recordings.
The FBO was founded in 1987 by former students of the Freiburg College of Music, most of them from the violin class of Rainer Kussmaul, who later became leader of the Berlin Philharmonic. The new ensemble soon became one of the most sought-after ensembles playing on historic instruments, and made an international reputation for itself. The FBO makes regular guest appearances at major international concert venues such as the Berlin Philharmonie, the Wigmore Hall London, New York’s Lincoln Center, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Philharmonie de Paris. Concert tours take the orchestra all over the world, from South America to Australia. At the same time the FBO has its own subscription series in Freiburg, Stuttgart and Berlin, and is a regular guest at major music festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, the Tanglewood Festival in the USA and the Innsbruck Early Music Festival.
The orchestra’s core repertoire consists of works from the Baroque and Classical periods, but it also performs works by Romantic composers, particularly music by Mendelssohn and Schumann. Following the principles of historic performing practice, the FBO plays without a conductor for the most part. But for selected projects such as opera performances or orchestral works calling for a large ensemble, it works together with well-known conductors like Pablo Heras-Casado, Sir Simon Rattle or Teodor Currentzis. The FBO has an especially intense musical friendship with René Jacobs, with whom it cooperates in particular on performances of Mozart operas or Baroque and classical oratorios.
The orchestra’s artistic directors are Gottfried von der Goltz (violin) and Kristian Bezuidenhout (pianoforte), who took over this position from Petra Müllejans in 2017. Both artists also appear as soloists. In addition, the FBO works together with a wide variety of well-known instrumentalists and vocal soloists, among them Isabelle Faust, Philippe Jaroussky, Christian Gerhaher, Alexander Melnikov, Andreas Staier and Jean-Guihen Queyras.
The FBO’s exceptional musical diversity is documented on numerous recordings, which have been awarded many prizes, including several Echo Klassik awards, Grammy nominations and the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.