Cairo Symphony Orchestra History

The Cairo Symphony Orchestra in its 56th season is an eminent and unique participant in enriching the musical life in Egypt. It was founded in 1959 under its first principal conductor Franz Litschauer. Since 1990 and under its music director Maestro Ahmed El Saedi (1991-2003), the orchestra has succeeded in reaching new horizons in both repertoire, outreach to public and artistic level. Works by Bruckner, Mahler, Ravel, Debussy, Bartok, Hindemith, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich have become an integral part of the Orchestra’s repertoire.

Since the integration of A Cappella Choir, into the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, both have performed together major works for chorus and orchestra including: Handel’s “Messiah”, Mozart’s “Requiem”, Verdi’s “Requiem”, Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis” and Ninth Symphony, Brahms “Requiem, Dvořák’s “Stabat Mater” Mahler’s Second Symphony, Haydn’s “The Creation” and Brahms’ “A German Requiem” were performed by the Cairo Symphony Orchestra and the A Cappella Choir.

The 20014/2015 season opened with performances of all Beethoven’s nine symphonies with new and more authoritative approach by Maestro Ahmed El Saedi.

The Cairo Symphony Orchestra as part of its mission towards audience with no previous profound exposure to classical music heritage performs concerts dedicated to musical education and appreciation scheduled in two separate series of concerts under school and family concerts.
The Cairo Symphony Orchestra has been conducted by many international guest conductors such as Charles Munch, Carlo Zecchi, Ottokar Truhlik, Ole Schmidt, Yehudi Menuhin, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Janos Kukla, Patrick Fournillier, Daniel Barenboim and others. Among the soloists who have performed with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra are Rudolf Buchbinder, Abdel Rahman El-Bacha, Joerg Demus, Ramzi Yassa, André Navarra, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Viktoria Postnikova, Stefan Vladar, Christian Altenburger, Christiana Ortiz and Anastasia Chebotareva.
The Orchestra under the music director Ahmed El Saedi has released recordings of Beethoven’s five piano concerts, and the ”Choral Fantasy” featuring Ramzi Yassa as piano soloist.

During the past years, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra has regularly toured many European countries with great success. Invitations for the coming season include concerts in different European countries.

Principal conductors of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra during the last ten years include Maestro Sergio Cárdenas (2003 - 2004), Christophe Mueller (2004 - 2005), Steven Lloyd (2005 - 2007), Andreas Spörri (2007 - 2008), Marcello Mottadelli (2008 - 2011) and Jiří Petrdlík (2011 - 2014).

With the beginning of the season 2014/2015, Maestro Ahmed El Saedi is Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra.

The Cairo Symphony Chamber Orchestra includes the best performers of the orchestra who form the artistic core of the orchestra. They perform a 5 - 6 concert chamber orchestra series each season at the main hall of the Cairo Opera House.