"Orchestra for Düsseldorf" – this is a claim that the Düsseldorf Symphony lives up to around 250 times a year. The orchestra plays in the Tonhalle and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein – and also carries Düsseldorf's reputation as a city of culture throughout the world with its concert tours. The Düsseldorf Symphony also represents a fascinating chapter in the city's living history, for the orchestral tradition in Düsseldorf goes back well over 400 years: as early as 1585, a twelve-member ensemble played at the "Great Princely Jülish Wedding" of Duke Johann Wilhelm and Jacobe of Baden. In the 18th century, musicians such as Handel and Corelli worked with the "Düsseldorfer Hofkapelle" until the dissolution of the court. In 1818, with the founding of the Städtischer Musikverein, an orchestral culture once again emerged in Düsseldorf, attracting musicians such as Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Robert Schumann. The orchestra became municipal in 1864, making Düsseldorf the second German city after Aachen to found a civic orchestra.
Subsequently, the Düsseldorf Symphony developed into one of Germany's leading and largest orchestras, whose leaders after the reconstruction in 1945 included Heinrich Hollreiser and subsequently conductors such as Eugen Szenkar, Jean Martinon, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Henryk Czyz, Willem van Otterloo, Bernhard Klee, David Shallon, Salvador Mas Conde, John Fiore and Andrey Boreyko. Since 2015, Adam Fischer holds the position of Principal Conductor of the Düsseldorf Symphony. Alexandre Bloch worked alongside him as Principal Guest Conductor for five years, with Alpesh Chauhan taking over this position in the 2021|22 season.
In March 2020, the recording of Gustav Mahler's symphonic works was completed under Adam Fischer's direction for the AVI label in cooperation with Deutschlandfunk. Two of these recordings won awards in 2019: the First Symphony received the "BBC Music Award", and the Third Symphony an "Opus Klassik".
The orchestra has also made a name for itself internationally, with concert tours taking the orchestra all over the world. In 2011, the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker toured Spain, in 2012 they performed at the Beethoven Easter Festival in Poland and in Moscow. In 2014, the symphony orchestra made its debut at the Vienna Musikverein and gave guest performances at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In 2015, they were celebrated at nine concerts in Tokyo. In 2017|18 the orchestra played at the season opening of the new concert hall in Arnhem, followed by a re-invitation to Amsterdam and a guest performance in Moscow. In 2018|19, they played in Budapest and celebrated great success on a tour of Spain – as well as on another tour of Spain in April 2022. The Düsseldorfer Symphoniker started the new year 2023 once again with a New Year's guest performance in Budapest.
On the way to making it’s concert home Tonhalle “green", the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker are an important partner: as a member of the Germany-wide initiative "Orchestra of Change (OdW)", they are actively involved in climate and environmental protection and are committed to reducing climate-damaging emissions from cultural operations.
The Düsseldorfer Symphoniker are the exclusive cultural partner of the medical aid organisation »action medeor«.
They are also part of the German theatre and orchestra landscape, which has been included in the list of intangible cultural heritage by the German UNESCO Commission.
The orchestra's project "An Orchestra of the Future" is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in cooperation with the NRW KULTURsekretariat as part of the "New Ways" programme.