The Bamberg Symphony (German: Bamberger Symphoniker - Bayerische Staatsphilharmonie) is a German orchestra based in Bamberg and well known for its artistic excellence and frequent international touring. The orchestra was formed in 1946 mainly from German musicians expelled from Czechoslovakia under the Beneš decrees, who had previously been members of the German Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague. The orchestra received the title of Bayerische Staatsphilharmonie (Bavarian State Philharmonic) in 1993. The orchestra commemorated its 60th anniversary on 16 March 2006.
Since 1993, the home of the orchestra is the Konzert- und Kongresshalle (Concert and Congress Hall), which has the nickname Sinfonie an der Regnitz (Symphony on the Regnitz). Concerts before 1993 were given at the Dominikanerbau. The orchestra receives financial support from the Free State of Bavaria, the city of Bamberg, Oberfranken district and the district of Bamberg. The government of Bavaria retired the orchestra's financial debts in 2003.
Joseph Keilberth was the orchestra's first principal conductor. Other principal conductors have included Eugen Jochum, James Loughran and Horst Stein, all of whom also held the title of honorary conductor of the orchestra. Since January 2000, Jonathan Nott has been principal conductor of the orchestra. Several years after his 2009 extension of his Bamberg contract to 2012, in August 2011, the orchestra further extended Nott's contract through the 2015-2016 season. Herbert Blomstedt was named honorary conductor of the orchestra in March 2006. Robin Ticciati became the orchestra's principal guest conductor in the 2010-2011 season.
The orchestra is associated with the triennial Gustav Mahler Conducting Prize, established during Nott's tenure, and the first prize laureate in 2004 was Gustavo Dudamel. The orchestra has made a number of recordings for Vox Records with János Fürst, some of which have been reissued on CD. It also recorded music of Joaquin Turina for RCA Records with conductor Antonio de Almeida.