With a tradition that goes back 450 years, the Staatskapelle Berlin is one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Founded by Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg as the Hofkapelle (Court Orchestra) and first mentioned in a document in 1570, the ensemble was primarily obliged to serve at court, but gradually expanded its activities. With the construction of the opera house Unter den Linden in 1742 by Frederick the Great, the orchestra found a central venue with which it has been associated ever since. Renown musical personalities have directed the opera and the orchestra’s concert series, which have been held regularly since 1842. Remarkable conductors such as Gaspare Spontini, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Otto Nikolai, Felix von Weingartner, Richard Strauss, Erich Kleiber, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, Franz Konwitschny and Otmar Suitner are among those who significantly influenced the music culture of the former Royal Court Opera and continue to do so in today’s Staatskapelle Berlin. Daniel Barenboim has been General Music Director of the Staatskapelle Berlin since 1992. In 2000 he was elected conductor for life by the orchestra. Numerous guest performances in Europe, Israel, Japan and China have repeatedly testified to the orchestra’s world-class rank. The performance of all of Beethoven’s symphonies and piano concertos in Vienna, Paris, London, New York and Tokyo, as well as the cycles of Schumann’s and Brahms’ symphonies, the presentation of Richard Wagner’s complete major stage works on the occasion of the Staatsoper Festtage 2002 and the three-time performance of Wagner’s »Ring des Nibelungen« in Japan count among the most outstanding events. During the 2007 festival, Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez conducted a ten-part Mahler cycle at the Berliner Philharmonie, which was also performed at Vienna’s Musikverein and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Highlights of recent years include: a nine-part Bruckner cycle (Vienna, June 2012 and Suntory Hall Tokyo, Carnegie Hall New York and the Paris Philharmonie in 2016 and 2017), concert performances of Wagner’s »Ring des Nibelungen« at the London Proms in 2013, as well as the Brahms cycle and »Tristan und Isolde« in July 2018 in Buenos Aires. Numerous CD and DVD recordings of both opera and symphony performances document the high artistic quality of the Staatskapelle Berlin. In addition to recordings of Wagner’s three romantic operas, Beethoven’s »Fidelio«, Strauss’ »Elektra« and Berg’s »Wozzeck«, recordings of the complete symphonies by Beethoven, Schumann and Bruckner with Daniel Barenboim at the helm, recordings of piano concertos by Chopin, Liszt and Brahms and major symphonic works by Strauss and Elgar have been released. The Staatskapelle Berlin is presented on DVD with recordings of Beethoven’s piano concertos, Bruckner’s symphonies Nos. 4 to 9, Wagner’s »Tannhäuser« and »Parsifal«, Verdi’s »Il trovatore«, Rimsky-Korsakov’s »Die Zarenbraut« und Berg’s »Lulu«.