The orchestra was formed in 1975 in the recording studios of WDR Cologne. Since Walter Schreiber took over the artistic direction as concertmaster, it has been able to remarkably expand and establish its instrumentation and repertoire. In regular projects, outstanding musicians from all German music metropolises come together in this top ensemble.
Since 2013, the "Deutsches Radio Kammerorchester" has been regularly invited on extensive tours to China, where the orchestra's international name, German Radio Orchestra, has become a synonym for the admired European sound culture. Under the baton of conductors such as Martin Fischer-Dieskau or Walter Hilgers, the focus is on major symphonies from Beethoven to Brahms, milestones in the orchestra's repertoire such as Wagner's Prelude to Lohengrin, and concerts with soloists of international standing.
The DRKO also attracted attention in Europe with performances at the Flanders Festival in Belgium, the Carinthian Summer in Austria, the Pro Arte Festival in Italy and the Schwetzingen Festival. A tour of South America took the ensemble through Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
An Israel tour for concerts with the Gary Bertini Israeli Choir and DRKO solo cellist Joanna Sachryn is planned for the autumn-winter 2020/21. The DRKO will also perform Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the young and dynamic choir salto corale schaffhausen in the renowned concert series of the Musik-Collegium Schaffhausen (Switzerland). At the turn of the year 2020/21, the DRKO will again tour with conductor Walter Hilgers to the most important concert venues in China.
The German Radio Chamber Orchestra devotes itself with great dedication to extraordinary and meaningful projects.
Since 2011, for example, the GRO has repeatedly played at the United Nations Holocaust Memorial Day in Geneva. It performed works such as Brahms' Tragic Overture, Bruch's Kol Nidrei or Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 Babi Yar with the Zamir Choir Bayreuth and the Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir under the direction of the Israeli conductor and composer Itzhak Tavior. Further performances with these programs led to the Sala Teatro LAC Lugano.
A highlight of recent years in Germany was the concert series Mozart's Journey to Prague with pianist Jeremy Menuhin under the direction of Martin Fischer-Dieskau. Eduard Mörike's novella of the same name serves as a source of inspiration for a program with works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Czech composers
The German Radio Orchestra is particularly pleased to devote itself time and again to the oratorio repertoire and to working in partnership with amateur choirs, not least in order to make oratorio performances of a high standard possible in smaller towns and rural areas.
The partner choirs can rely not only on the great competence, joy of playing and experience of the musicians, but also on the extensive music archive of the DRKO, which includes ready-made materials and, in some cases, instrumentation variations.
For example, there are long-standing, trusting cooperations with the Aachener Bach Choir, the Evangelische Kantorei Burscheid-Leverkusen, salto corale schaffhausen, Zamir Choir Bayreuth, the Chor Philharmonie Regensburg, the Kantorei St. Joseph Tutzing and the Gary Bertini Israeli Choir Tel Aviv.
The baroque and classical masterpieces of church literature by Bach, Handel, Mozart and Haydn are just as naturally part of the repertoire as Felix Mendelsohn Bartholdy's great oratorios, the requiems by Brahms and Fauré, masses by Bruckner, rarities such as Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn's Oratorio after images from the Bible, Ferdinand Ries' Der Sieg des Glaubens, Arnold Schönberg's Friede auf Erden op.13, Franz Schmidt's The Book with Seven Seals or popular church works such as the Magnificat by John Rutter.
During the Aachen Bach Days 2017 the GRO played the world premiere of the oratorical triptych Sancta Trinitas by Enjott Schneider, the CD was released in 2018.
At the age of 18, Walter Schreiber became a student of Professor Tibor Vargas. From this beginning, he was awarded the German Conservatory Prize, and was sent as a servitor of DAAD to study with Semion Snitkowski and the great violinist David Oistrach at the famous Conservatory of Music in Moscow, Russia. This has lead him into a strong understanding of the biggest violin schools of the European tradition of Leopold Auer and Carl Flesch.
He was academy member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra followed by employment
as concert master of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestr. Shortly after he was also concert
master of the famous Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, which toured in concert as a
German Musical Ambassador all over the world. Their show list included such
outstanding events like Beijing concert by the end of the 1970s, a concert for the Iranian
Shah in Tehran, and with Frank Sinatra in the USA.
From 1983 he was elected as first violinist by the WDR Symphony Orchestra-Cologne, one of the main and biggest orchestras of Germany. From 1983 to 2001 he played regularly as a member of the world famous Richard Wagner Festival Orchestra Bayreuth. From this he gained great influence with the biggest conductors, like Daniel Baremboim, James Levine, Sir George Solti, Herbert von Karajan, André Previn, Günter Wand.
From the beginning of his musical carrier he dedicated himself to his passion for chamber music.
1983 he founded the Cologne Piano Trio, winning competitions internationally. For more than 30 years trio get high reputation in Europe, Asia and South America.
Since 2001 he is leader of “German Radio Orchestra”, an orchestra of an international reputation- with regular concerts in Europe and China.
Walter Schreiber is a frequent guest of international festivals and teaches in master classes in Europe, South America and Asia.
He was a guest professor of the National University in Seoul, and since 2013 he is guest professor at the College of Arts and Media of Tongji University in Shanghai.
The Polish cellist Joanna Sachryn convinces with her expressivity and a personality, which is simply not conventional. Her debut with the E. Lalo Concerto after only four years of cello study attracted great interest in the Polish public. At the age of sixteen she toured with ‘Jeunesse Musicales’ to Paris and London. Already then the ‘Observer’ extolled her extraordinary expressiveness.
At the age of seventeen Joanna Sachryn, was the
youngest cello soloist at Stettin Opera. At the same time she passed
her diploma with distinction at the music conservatory
at Stettin and won prizes in numerous national competitions.
Although the Iron Curtain was a major impediment, she continue her study in the Soloist Class of Professor Gerhard Mantel in
Frankfurt am Main and in London with William Pleeth. She received
decisive impulses through repertoire studies with Mstislav Rostropovich and
Numerous engagements followed, e.g. with Munich Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra London, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, State Orchestra Stuttgart, Philharmonic Orchestra Regensburg , German Radio Chamber Orchestra, Korean Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, State Orchestra of Ploiesti and Oradea in Rumania.
Following her big passion - the chamber music - since 1999 she is cellist of the Cologne Piano Trio, which is well-established on international stages for last 30 years. Since 2009 she is a member of the Vienna Cello Ensemble 5+1 , tempting with great virtuosity and originality. In 2020 the label Kaleidos released in cooperation with Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt (HR) the CD of Joanna Sachryn and Paul Rivinius - „Hiller & Urspruch - Forgotten Treasures. She played among others with the pianists Günter Ludwig and Justus Franz, the violinist Thomas Christian, the cellists Johannes Goritzki, Boris Pergamenschikow and Eleonora Schönfeld, the double bass players Günther Klaus, Wolfgang Güttler and Boguslaw Furtok.
Joanna Sachryn has performed at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Shanghai Spring Festival, International Cello Festival Katowice - on international stages like Musikverein Vienna, London Royal Festival Hall, Cecilia Meirelles Hall Rio de Janeiro, Santory Hall Tokio, National Art Center Seoul, Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts and Shanghai Symphony Hall.
Since 1999 Joanna Sachryn teaches annually masterclasses in the international Haus Marteau Lichtenberg and gave masterclasses in Brasil, Japan Südkorea, Montenegro, Kosovo and Poland. Since 2013 she is guest professor at the renowned Tongji University in Shanghai, as at Beijing Central Conservatory and Shanxi University Taiyuan in China. She is also professor-member of „Cello Family festival“ in China and was member of Jury by WEDO International Cello Competition 2019 in Beijing. In 2020 she takes up teaching post at the Academy of Music Berlin.