The Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester 

Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester
© Sophia Hegewald

The Frankfurt Opern- und Museumsorchester was voted »Orchestra of the Year« four times by Opernwelt magazine: in 1995, under Sylvain Cambreling, and 2009, 2010 & 2011 under Sebastian Weigle, who handed over the baton as Music Director to Thomas Guggeis this season, after 15 years at the helm. There's a video on the German side of this page where Thomas Guggeis talks about how he found himself in this position, and how happy he is to be here!

Oper Frankfurt's orchestra came into being in the late 18th century. It received its unusual name because it was also the orchestra that gave concerts for the "Frankfurter Museum", an institution founded by culturally minded people in Frankfurt in 1808, when Louis Spohr was chief conductor of the, still young, orchestra.

Many famous conductors have been linked to the orchestra during the more than two hundred years since it came into existence. Music Directors included Willem Mengelberg, Hermann Scherchen, Clemens Krauss and, later on, Hans Rosbaud and Franz Konwitschny. In the late 19th Century guest conductors included Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Arthur Nikisch and Hans Pfitzner. Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann performed as soloists with the Frankfurter Opern- and Museumsorchester.

The Frankfurter Museumsgesellschaft still organises the renowned series of Museum Concerts. During the first half of the 20th Century Wilhelm Furtwängler, Hans Knappertsbusch, Hermann Abendroth, Erich Kleiber, Bruno Walter, Georges Szell and many other big names conducted here. Many new works, operatic and orchestral, including "Ein Heldenleben" and "Also sprach Zarathustra", received their world premieres in Frankfurt, played by the Frankfurter Opern- and Museumsorchester. Paul Hindemith was leader of the Frankfurter Opern- and Museumsorchester for a few years.

Since the second world war Oper Frankfurt's General Music Directors have included Georg Solti, Christoph von Dohnányi, Michael Gielen, Sylvain Cambreling and Paolo Carignani, all nurturing and making their own mark on musical life in Frankfurt. Sebastian Weigle handed the baton over to Thomas Guggeis in 2023/24, after fifteen wonderful years in Frankfurt, as new chief conductor of the Frankfurt Opern und Museumsorchesters, General Music Director of Oper Frankfurt and Artistic Director of the Museumskonzerte. He is thrilled by »the orchestra's motivation and openess in every rehearsal and performance, and looking forward to their voyage through all kinds of musical sound worlds and languages.«

The Frankfurter Opern- and Museumsorchester's huge repertoire encompasses almost all important operatic and symphonic works from the baroque to experimental contemporary music. Musicians from the orchestra also perform their own series of chamber music concerts, which take place in the opera house's Holz Foyer.