Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra


The Philharmonic State Orchestra is Hamburg’s largest and oldest orchestra, looking back on many years of musical history. When the “Philharmonic Orchestra” and the “Orchestra of the Hamburg Municipal Theatre” merged in 1934, two tradition-steeped orchestras combined. Philharmonic concerts have been performed in Hamburg since 1828, artists such as Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms being regular guests of the Philharmonic Society. The history of the opera company goes back even further: Hamburg has been home to musical theatre since 1678, even if a regular opera or theatre orchestra was only formed later. To this day, the Philharmonic State Orchestra has embodied the sound of the Hansa City, a concert and opera orchestra in one.

In its long history, the orchestra has encountered great artistic personalities such as Telemann, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Mahler, Prokofiev and Stravinsky. Since the 20th century, chief conductors such as Karl Muck, Joseph Keilberth, Eugen Jochum, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Hans Zender, Christoph von Dohnányi, Gerd Albrecht, Ingo Metzmacher and Simone Young have shaped the sound of the Philharmoniker. Kent Nagano has been Hamburg’s General Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and the Hamburg State Opera since 2015 and its Honorary Conductor since June 2023.

Ab der Saison 2025/26 folgt Omer Meir Wellber Kent Nagano als neuer Hamburgischer Generalmusikdirektor an der Staatsoper Hamburg und Chefdirigent beim Philharmonischen Staatsorchester. Der 41-jährige zählt international zu den gefragtesten Dirigenten, ist derzeit Music Director des Teatro Massimo Palermo sowie künstlerischer Leiter des Toscanini Festivals. Zudem ist er bis einschließlich August 2027 Musikdirektor der Volksoper Wien.

From the 2025/26 season, Omer Meir Wellber will succeed Kent Nagano as the new Hamburg General Music Director at the Hamburg State Opera and Chief Conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra. The 41-year-old is one of the most sought-after conductors internationally and is currently Music Director of the Teatro Massimo Palermo and Artistic Director of the Toscanini Festival. He is also Music Director of the Vienna Volksoper until August 2027.



„On this evening, Nagano and his ensemble synthesise spiritualisation and emotional devotion. Entirely in the spirit of Mahler.”

Hamburger Abendblatt, 01 May 2022

“Many people in the hall stand up during the long-lasting final applause.”, 21 Feb. 2024

„Nagano thus succeeded in creating an interpretation that was never boring and in which even Brahms connoisseurs were able to discover one or two surprises.“

bachtrack, 19 Nov. 2019