From the press

From the press

Stuttgarter Zeitung 2022


From the Jugendhaus Mitte to the biggest concert stages in the world. The incredible story of the Stuttgart “Orchestra of Cultures

Stuttgart- When the Stuttgart “Orchestra of Cultures” met for its first rehearsal in March 2010 at the Jugendhaus Mitte, probably none of the participants had any idea that one day they would have a recording contract with Universal Music, the biggest record company in the world.

Instead, Kandara Diebate, musician & singer from Senegal, who plays the 21-string kora, wondered how far off the mark the Germans’ much-vaunted punctuality really is.

While sitting at his seat punctually at 10 o’clock, musical director Adrian Werum just got a message that the whole rhythm section was still in Georgia, as they had missed rehearsals by a whole day.

They made the best of it and so there was more time to admire instruments never seen before:

the Brazilian berimbau, which resembles an Indian bow and arrow. Then the Chinese erhu, a two-stringed stringed instrument made from snakeskin, and many, many more.

When the conductor then gave the signal to start, it became apparent that not everyone was familiar with European signage. But even more adventurous was the fact that not all of them played according to notes, but brought their own free way of making music into a body of sound that soon grew to over 40 musicians.

But they quickly grew together and soon SWR invited them to record at the Emmerich-Smola studios in Kaiserslautern.

Further recognition came in the form of the Manfred Rommel Award from the German-Turkish Forum and artistic success with several albums reaching number one in the German classical music charts together with crossover tenor Jay Alexander.

That such a huge multicultural ensemble has kept its spontaneity through the years was noticed at the latest when Regine Sixt, the co-owner of the car rental company SIXT SE, invited the musical director called and commissioned a new symphony for the company anniversary coming up in 8 weeks.

Adrian Werum agreed right away, which was a bit suspicious for Mrs. Sixt. This is how she tested him: “It took Hector Berlioz 2 years to write the Symphonie fantastique. You’ll never do it!”

The Orchestra of Cultures accepted the challenge and 8 weeks later the SIXT Symphony was premiered to great public acclaim.

In 2020, when the world almost came to a standstill, the Orchestra of Cultures then teamed up with the Philharmonia Choir of Stuttgart, Jay Alexander and many other international guests to produce its 10th anniversary CD, “A World Symphony.”

In studios in Sindelfingen, Heidelberg, Baden-Baden, Rome, St. Petersburg and Beirut, an absolute masterpiece was created, which convinces with opulence, wonderful timbres and refreshing as well as catchy melodies. The release concert can finally take place this year.

The “Orchestra of Cultures” is one of an almost endless series of earth-shattering inventions from the Stuttgart region:

An ensemble with over 40 musical spark plugs.