The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is a German symphony orchestra based in Leipzig, Germany. The orchestra is named after the concert hall in which it is based, the Gewandhaus . In addition to its concert duties, the orchestra also performs frequently in the Thomaskirche and as the official opera orchestra of the Leipzig Opera.
The orchestra's origins can be traced to 1743, when a society called the Grosses Concert began performing in private homes. In 1744 the Grosses Concert moved its concerts to the "Three Swans" Tavern. Their concerts continued at this venue for 36 years, until 1781. In 1780, because of complaints about concert conditions and audience behavior in the tavern, the mayor and city council of Leipzig offered to renovate one story of the Gewandhaus for the orchestra's use. The motto Res severa est verum gaudium was painted in the hall, suggesting the priorities of the sponsors. The orchestra gave its first concert in the Gewandhaus in 1781. The orchestra thus has a good claim to being the oldest continuing orchestra in Germany founded by the bourgeoisie, while older orchestras were part of royal suites.
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