About us > History
The OBC was founded in 1944 under the conducting of Maestro Eduard Toldrà. In 1962, Rafael Ferrer took over until 1967. Since then, the orchestra has been led by the maestros Antoni Ros Marbà (1967-1978, 1981-1986), Salvador Mas (1978-1981), Franz-Paul Decker (1986-1991), García Navarro (1991-1993), Lawrence Foster (1996-2002), Ernest Martínez Izquierdo (2002-2006) and Eiji Oue (2006-2010). From the 2010-2011 season, the OBC head conductor is Pablo González,
In its more than 66 years of history, the OBC has programmed numerous first performances and has made several recordings with Decca, EMI, Auvidis, Koch, Claves, Naxos, Telarc and BIS, amongst others, with works by Montsalvatge, Gerhard, Falla, D’Albert, Albéniz, Donhány, Bartók, Bizet and Rodrigo, outstanding international performers. The OBC has been three times awarded the Latin Grammy for the "Best classical music album": in 2000 with the CD La Dolores, in 2004 with the CD Carmen Symphony and in 2006 with the CD Rhapsody in blue. The recent recordings by the OBC include El Concierto de Aranjuez, with leading guitar soloist Xuefei Yang, for the EMI label, and a work devoted to Albéniz for the Tritó label.
The OBC has also been continuously artistically active abroad, with tours of different countries of Europe, Asia and the United States, enabling it to perform in renowned halls such as the Carnegie Hall in New York and to take part in international festivals such as the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall In London.
The OBC has received the collaboration of conductors and soloists of great renown, such as Elihau Inbal, Jesús López Cobos, Daniel Barenboim, Christopher Hogwood, Ton Koopman, Michel Plasson, Emmanuel Krivine, Leonard Slatkin, Dmitri Kitajenko, Giovanni Antonini, Yakov Kreizberg, Stéphane Denève, Josep Pons, Marc Minkkowski, Radu Lupu, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Shlomo Mintz, Arcadi Volodos, Montserrat Caballé, Alicia de Larrocha, Misha Maisky, Pinchas Zukerman, Martha Argerich, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Michel Camilo, Ute Lemper, Gidon Kremer, Truls Mörk, Sarah Chang, Viktoria Mullova, Violeta Urmana, Nicholas Angelich, Till Fellner and Vadim Repin, amongst many others.
As part of the collaboration between the OBC and the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the OBC has performed a concert version at the Liceu of Prokofiev's opera The Gambler and the seldom-performed Daphne by Strauss, to great public and critical acclaim.
The OBC is committed to disseminating classical and contemporary music of all cultures and tendencies, giving priority to Catalan composers. At the same time, the OBC participates actively in the school concerts and different activities organised by the Auditori Educational Service.
The OBC is part of the Auditori and Orquestra consortium, formed by the Government of Catalonia and Barcelona City Hall. Since 1999, it has been based in the Auditori in Barcelona, the work of the architect Rafael Moneo.
The OBC is a member of:
AFO. Association Française des Orchestres
Through its membership of the AFO, the OBC gains an essential European dimension for its growth and consolidation as an orchestra of reference.
AEOS. Asociación Española de Orquestas Sinfónicas
The AEOS is the forum that groups the State professional orchestras.
L’Auditori is a member of:
This is the association, which brings together the main auditoria of Europe. L’Auditori has been a member of this association since 2007, and was the first Spanish public auditorium to join it.