The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (meaning German Chamber Orchestra of Bremen) is among Europe's leading medium-sized orchestral ensembles, and has attracted several of the world's top conductors.
Also known by its earlier names of Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and Kammerorchester der jungen Deutschen Philarmonie (Chamber Orchestra of the Young German Philharmonic), the orchestra has also attracted notice for its model of democratic governance. From the beginning, the orchestra members have controlled management and finances. The Kammerorchester der jungen Deutschen Philarmonie was founded in 1980 by a group of music students in Frankfurt who wanted to offer ad hoc performances to promoters. Its founders were Friederike Latzko and Richard Duven; Latzko is one of four original members who still perform with the group. The orchestra performed at the United Nations in New York in 1983, and took another step forward the following year when they were invited by violinist and conductor Gidon Kremer to participate in the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival in Austria. In 1987 the orchestra began to receive funding from the city of Frankfurt, changed its name to the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, and began to play a regular concert series at the city's Alte Oper house. Sometimes collaborating with historically oriented musicians such as recorder player Frans Brüggen, the orchestra operated during this period without a chief conductor. In 1992 the orchestra moved to the city of Bremen, took on its present name of Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and the following year retained the services of veteran Czech conductor Jiri Behlolavek. He was succeeded in 1995 by Thomas Hengelbrock (a year in which the group toured the U.S. and appeared at Tanglewood and the Hollywood Bowl), in 1999 by Daniel Harding, and in 2004 by Paavo Järvi. With each step, the orchestra's artistic ambitions grew. Under Järvi, the orchestra has recorded a complete set of Beethoven's symphonies in 5.1 DSD technology for the RCA Red Seal label, where the group has become a fixture of the catalog. They have also recorded cycles of symphonies by Schumann, and, beginning in 2018, of Brahms. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is closely involved with the musical life of its home city (from which it continues to receive financial support), appearing at both the Musikfest Bremen festival and at its own Summer in Lesmona event at Bremen's Knoops Park.