About us

The Landesblasorchester Baden-Württemberg is the select orchestra of the Blasmusikverband Baden-Württemberg e.V. (BVBW). Since its foundation in 1978, it has enjoyed a great reputation throughout Europe and is considered one of the most successful German wind orchestras. Its high musical and artistic level makes participation particularly attractive for the approximately 85 highly qualified and committed musicians.

The orchestra spends four weekends a year intensively rehearsing the upcoming concert programs. The repertoire includes original compositions and arrangements of classical works. World premieres and chamber music ensembles are also part of the annual program. Numerous international prizes, references and CD productions document the special quality of the Landesblasorchester Baden-Württemberg.

In 2005, the LBO won first prize in gold with distinction in the concert class at the World Music Contest (WMC) in Kerkrade, Netherlands. In the overall ranking, the Landesblasorchester and its chief conductor Isabelle Ruf-Weber took 4th place. In 2011, the orchestra won the 2nd International Wind Orchestra Competition in the Berlin Philharmonie with 99.5 out of a possible 100 points.

In July 2015, the Landesblasorchester represented Germany and Europe at the WASBE World Conference in San José, California, and undertook its biggest trip since the orchestra was founded. In May 2016, the LBO took fourth place at the European Championships for Wind Orchestras(ECWO) in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The orchestra celebrated its greatest success once again at the WMC in Kerkrade in July 2017: with 96 points, the LBO was runner-up in the world championship, the highest score ever achieved by a German orchestra.

@Copyright Sabrina Kilian

History and objectives


In the 1970s, Federal and State Music Director Hellmut Haase-Altendorf and Prof. Richard Zettler had the idea of founding an orchestra that would bring together good and committed musicians from all of Baden-Württemberg’s music associations. This orchestra should help to cultivate valuable symphonic wind band literature and provide a forum for composers of original wind band music. At the same time, it was to become a role model for over 2,300 amateur musicians in the country and fulfill an important multiplier function. The LBO was thus also intended as a representative orchestra for the country.


The orchestra was founded in 1978 with the help of Prof. Erich Ganzenmüller, then President of the State Parliament and President of the BVBW. Following an appeal in the official press organ of the association at the time, interested musicians were able to register for an audition. From October 7, 1978, regular rehearsals were held every two weeks in the Aldingen community hall. Hellmut Haase-Altendorf and Prof. Richard Zettler were in charge.

The premiere

The first public appearance took place shortly after its foundation on November 11, 1978 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament. The first concert followed on 07.06.1980 in Böblingen.

Performance and reputation

In August 1984, the LBO was given its own statutes, in which the tasks and responsibilities of the orchestra were defined. A year later, Saturday rehearsals were replaced by rehearsal weekends. In 1985, the performance level of the entire orchestra was tested in an audition.

In 1986, Harry D. Bath took over the baton and thus for the first time no longer the national music director. He was able to improve the orchestra’s performance within a very short space of time and shaped it into an impressive ensemble during his 10-year tenure. He led it to international renown, including the European Championship runner-up in Kerkrade/Holland.

In 1995 Franco Cesarini was a guest of the LBO and conducted mainly his own compositions and transcriptions in two concerts. Harry D. Bath encouraged collaboration with the composer Rolf Rudin, who gave the orchestra the premieres of several works. The Bath era also saw several trips abroad: to England, France and Holland, as well as a tour of Germany.

Heinz Friesen took over the baton in 1997. Unfortunately, this management only lasted just under a year due to his other professional commitments. This was followed by 3½ years of successful work under Walter Ratzek, during which further awards were won. From summer 2001, the orchestra worked with various guest conductors: Johan de Meij, Philipp Kufner, Wolfgang Wössner, Isabelle Ruf-Weber and Bernhard Volk. This was a very instructive and impressive time for the orchestra members.

Present and future

From 2004, the Landesblasorchester was led by the Swiss conductor Isabelle Ruf-Weber, once again focusing on continuity. The joy of playing and musicality were at the heart of their orchestral work. The orchestra’s current highlights are fourth place in the concert class at the World Music Competition (WMC) in Kerkrade in July 2005 and victory at the 2nd International Wind Orchestra Competition in the Berlin Philharmonie in 2011.

Since 2014, the orchestra has been under the musical direction of Dutchman Björn Bus. Successful concerts and enthusiastic audiences at the 2013 concerts under his direction as guest conductor have shown that the Landesblasorchester has once again succeeded in hiring a suitable conductor.

The idea of the multiplier function has worked. Many active and former LBO musicians are or were conductors and instructors in music clubs and wind orchestras in Baden-Württemberg. You bring your formative experiences from the LBO into your daily work. Many compositions that were on the LBO’s concert program 10-15 years ago are now part of the permanent concert repertoire of good orchestras in the country. It is particularly worth mentioning that former LBO musicians such as Wolfgang Wössner and Bernhard Volk have already returned to the LBO as extremely competent guest conductors.

In the future, the Landesblasorchester will remain true to its founding objectives and remain committed to the interpretation of symphonic wind music in Germany.