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Classic FM Drive with John Brunning 5pm - 7pm
Every weeknight this month at 8pm Classic FM's Full Works Concert is celebrating the world's greatest orchestras. Here are some fascinating photos and facts from their histories.
In February 2008, the North Korean government allowed unprecedented access to the orchestra and its director Lorin Maazel. The concert, which was broadcast live, included the national anthems of both North Korea and the USA, and music by Gershwin, Bernstein, and a popular Korean folk song Arirang. Photo: AP
On 9 November 2014, Daniel Barenboim conducted the Berlin Phil in front of the city's Brandenburg Gate in a spectacular concert commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Photo: AP
Karajan’s first performance with the Berlin Phil in April 1938 was such a sensation that it aroused the jealousy of their principal conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler. After his death, the orchestra made Herbert von Karajan its music director for life. Energetic, charismatic and visionary, Karajan honed Berlin into arguably the greatest orchestra in the world. Photo: AP
New Year's Day just wouldn't be the same if the Vienna Philharmonic didn't play their perennial 1 January concert of Viennese favourites. Even the most upright of Vienna's good burghers are known to let their hair down and clap their hands to the 'Radetzky March' Credit: Getty
The great composer Richard Strauss became closely associated with the orchestra. He celebrated his 75th birthday with them in June 1939, where he conducted the orchestra himself and received a standing ovation. Five years later he returned for his 80th birthday and conducted the orchestra in recordings of his own major works, as well as his seldom-heard 'Schlagobers' ('Whipped Cream') ballet music. Photo: AP
The 25-year old Bernstein, pictured second from right, was the orchestra's Assistant Conductor in November 1943 when he had to step in at short notice for the unwell Bruno Walter. Bernstein's unrehearsed performance amazed the crowd and the players, and was broadcast live to the nation. The New York Times published a front-page story about it and Bernstein became a top-flight conductor overnight. Photo: AP
In 1935, the LSO recorded their first soundtrack – for Alexander Korda's film 'Things To Come'. It kicked off their reputation as the world's leading soundtrack orchestra. They went on to become the go-to orchestra for Hollywood productions including most famously, John Williams's score to Star Wars. Today they also record soundtrack music for video games.
Fireworks at the legendary Hollywood Bowl celebrate Gustavo Dudamel's debut as director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, October 2009. The 28-year-old Venezuelan conductor was welcomed with a free community concert. Photo: AP
When the Boston Symphony Orchestra played Paris in May 1952, there was no greater enthusiasm or bigger applause for their performance of 'The Rite of Spring' than from the work's composer, Igor Stravinsky.
Commissioned to commemorate the RLPO's 150th anniversary, Paul McCartney penned his first major classical work, Liverpool Oratorio in 1991. In 2008, the orchestra gave the Northern Charity Premiere at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral of Sir Paul's oratorio Ecce Cor Meum. Photo: PA
Never before had The Queen looked so happy. It was all because of a concert given in Amsterdam in March 1958, during a three-day state visit by The Queen and Prince Philip to the Netherlands. Photo: AP
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's successful Citizen Musician Initiative engages the community in music-making. Here the initiative is promoted by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and soprano Renee Fleming with a choir of dozens of high school students in the rotunda of the State of Illinois building. Photo: AP
Tracing its origins back to 1743, the Leipzig Gewandhaus is the oldest continuing orchestra in Germany. It was the orchestra of choice for the 85th birthday concert of Pope Benedict XVI, held at the Vatican in April 2012. The Pontiff is seen here greeting conductor Riccardo Chailly, who has directed the orchestra since 2005. Photo: AP