Our history

OUR HISTORY

How it all began:

In 2008, our music director Adrian Werum was conducting a casting show for German television with national entertainment icon Thomas Gottschalk when he came up with the idea of making the orchestra the star of a new entertainment format. When he moved to Stuttgart’s Rosenstein district, often referred to as Stuttgart’s Bronx, he was struck by the huge discrepancy between the highly subsidized culture of the upper class and the often neglected culture of the still very young immigrant population. With the “Orchestra of Cultures” he wanted to bridge this seemingly insurmountable gap.

First, he assembled a diverse jury of established artists such as Gotthilf Fischer, Lilo Scrimali and Klaus Wagenleiter. He discovered other talents by following tips from fellow musicians. Finally, he called together friends and colleagues from the musical theater and classical orchestras in Stuttgart to form the new orchestra.

The first rehearsal was exciting for all musicians involved. Improvisation and notes were equal parts of the compositions. Instruments that had never been heard in an orchestral context played alongside the traditional lineup of a European orchestra.

That’s why the first concert made waves in the local press:

Stuttgarter Nachrichten:

“Exotic and classical instruments combine to create rousing grooves. The range of instruments is sensational, with everything from alphorn to sitar.”

Stuttgarter Wochenblatt:

“The most diverse music group far and wide. One highlight followed the other. The audience was never safe from surprises. Never-heard instruments inspired each other, turned the familiar into something completely new, and led across continents. Each individual is a master on his instrument.

Stuttgarter Zeitung:

“Musicians from all over the world play unique world landscapes in the Kulturhaus Arena. The orchestra is unique. Werum playfully uses the sound characteristics of classical and exotic instruments for his compositions. The mixture of different sounds makes the orchestra unique.

What can we do?

A unique orchestra must have its own unique repertoire. Since our orchestral line-up cannot be found anywhere else, you can be sure that you will always hear music written exclusively for the “Orchestra of Cultures”.

Our specialty is mixing the colors of the orchestra with ethnic instruments from around the world and combining an intuitive, improvisational approach with polished arrangements.

Even when we base a composition on a well-known work such as Mozart’s “Ave Verum,” our musical director reorchestrates for African and Asian instruments, in this case adding a new rhythmic part that feels like the polished drum work of a heavy metal band, punctuated by the vocal improvisations of our own griot from Senegal, Kandara Diebate, and the classical voice of Andrea Colangna or Abeer Nehme.

The fusion of all these traditions and colors is not an end in itself, but a vivid example of the heights we can all reach when we harness the full potential of humanity to bring it together in a new symphony of sound, unity and harmony.

Where do we play?

After our first concert in the old Stuttgart Theaterhaus (Kulturhaus Arena), we had our first recording session with the public radio station in southwestern Germany. From 2011-2013 we had our annual concerts at the new Theaterhaus in Stuttgart. In 2013, we received the Manfred Rommel Award for our services to intercultural integration.

Recordings for international labels in China (Rhimoy ) and Indonesia completed our repertoire and enriched our intercultural encounters.

Our albums with the cross-over tenor Jay Alexander all reached the top ten of the German classical music charts. “Schön ist die Welt” and “Ein Stern geht auf” topped the charts for several months.

In 2016, we produced our first oratorio and musical with refugees from Iraq and Syria.

From the press:

“The brilliant “Orchestra of Cultures” with classical-symphonic and exotic instruments under the direction of musical composer Adrian Werum gives a foretaste of its unusual sound design right from the introduction. A bass foundation coming from the deepest roots seems to want to quote Strauss’ Zarathustra, but gives birth to a muezzin-like vocal call.

A delicate bell motif later – the sound comes rather from the Christian Occident – the curtain rises. The dark stage is bathed in blue. The choir can be seen lined up in the background. Only when something begins to stir in the foreground does it become clear that it is a large pile of people lying on the ground who are slowly rising.

Children, women, men in oriental, African and European clothes wake up from their sleep, the symbolic blue of the sea gives way to a red sunrise and the choir begins the piece “Freedom I mean Mine”. Not immediately, only later it becomes clear: The stage is a boat deck. The colorful crew is on a ship drifting on the sea.

Almost 90 minutes later, a look from Frank Heinkel through his didgeridoo introduces the musical finale. He sees land. Starting shot for the 17th and last musical movement “For my new fatherland”. The curtain closes and three quarters of the audience spontaneously rises to applause.”

We have been working for SIXT SE with great success since 2012. Our music director Adrian Werum has composed 2 symphonies for events in Munich and Davos. Other events are planned.

At the regional level, we have often worked for local governments.

Upcoming projects include a new musical based on Hermann Hesse’s novel “Narziss & Goldmund” and concerts in major cities in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France.