Our Story


How did we start? 

In 2008 our music director Adrian Werum conducted a casting show for German National TV with the national entertainment icon Thomas Gottschalk, when he thought about having the orchestra as the star of a new  entertainment format. When he moved to Stuttgart Rosenstein quarter, oftentimes also referred as the Stuttgart Bronx, he noticed the huge discrepancy between the highly subsidized culture of the upper class and the often neglected culture of the still very recent immigrant population. With the „Orchester der Kulturen“ he wanted to bridge that seemingly unsurmountable gap.

First he assembled a diverse jury of established artists like Gotthilf Fischer, Lilo Scrimali & Klaus Wagenleiter.  He discovered more talents in following tips of fellow musicians. Finally he called up friends and colleagues from the musical theatre and classical orchestras in Stuttgart to join him in creating the new orchestra.

The first rehearsal was exciting for all participating musicians. Improvisation and sheet music were equal parts of the compositions. Instruments that had never been heard in an orchestral context played next to the traditional set-up of an European orchestra.

Therefore the first concert created huge waves in the local press:

Stuttgarter Nachrichten: 

„Exotic and classic instruments combine to create rousing grooves. The range of instruments is sensational, from the alphorn to the sitar, everything is included.”

Stuttgarter Wochenblatt:

„The most diverse music group far and wide. One highlight followed the other. The listeners were never safe from surprises. Instruments that had never been heard inspired one another, made something completely new out of the familiar and led across the continents. Each individual is masterful on his instrument.“

Stuttgarter Zeitung:

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

What do we do ?

A unique orchestra has to have its own very unique repertoire. Since our orchestra set-up is nowhere to be found elsewhere, you can be sure that you are always listening to music that has been written exclusively for the „Orchester der Kulturen“. 

Mixing the orchestral colors with ethnic instruments from around the globe is our speciality as is to incorporate an intuitive improvised approach with sophisticated arrangements. 

Even if we base a composition on a known work as for example Mozart’s „Ave Verum“, our music director re-orchestrates for African and Asian instruments and added in this case a new rhythmic part that feels like the elaborate drum work of a heavy metal band, punctuated by the vocal impros of our very own Griot from Senegal, Kandara Diebate, and the classical voice of Andrea Colangna or Abeer Nehme.

Merging all these traditions and colors is not an end in itself, but a vivid example to what kind of heights we all can achieve if we use all the potential of humankind to synthesize it into a new symphony of sound, oneness and harmony.

Where do we play ?

After our first concert at the old Theaterhaus of Stuttgart ( Kulturhaus Arena ), we had our first recording session with the Public Broadcast System of Germany’s Southwest. 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 cross-cultural integration.

Recordings for international labels in China (Rhimoy )  and Indonesia added to our repertoire and enriched our cross-cultural encounters.

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

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

From the Press: 

„The brilliant “Orchester der Kulturen“, with classical-symphonic and exotic instruments under the direction of musical composer Adrian Werum, immediately gives a foretaste of its unusual sound design in the introduction. A bass foundation coming from the deepest roots seems to want to quote Strauss’ Zarathustra, but it gives birth to a muezzin-like singing call.

A delicate bell motif later – the sound originates more from the Christian Occident – ​​the curtain rises. The dark stage is bathed in blue. The choir can be seen in rank and file in the background. Only when something starts to stir in the foreground does it become clear that there is a large pile of people lying on the ground who are slowly getting up.

Children, women, men, dressed 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 chorus begins the piece “Freiheit, die ich meine Meine”. Not immediately, only later it becomes clear: the stage is a boat deck. The motley crew is on a ship that is floating on the sea.

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

Since 2012 we have been performing to great success for SIXT SE.  Our music director Adrian Werum originated 2 symphonies for events in Munich and Davos. Further events are planned.

Regionally we have been frequently performing for municipal governments.

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