T he Saarland plucked string orchestra is a national ensemble of nonprofessionals winners of 'Jugend Musiziert' awards and profs. The orchestra consisting mainly of mandolines and guitars is accompanied by basso as well as other solo instruments. Exemplary presentations of both familiar and unknown compositions along with the coaching of the most talented solo instrumentalists are among the prior aims of local groups. This extarordinary ensemble encourages the revival of original compositions for mandolin from the 18th century - the heyday of mandolin music - only recently discovered in various libraries. The orchestra's skill in adopting hithero unknown techniques in order to perform the compositions in the genuien way is reflected in the first CD recording 'Galante Musik für Zupforchester' a milestone of differentiated sound and tone. Priority is given to the performance of romantic and modern compositions and at a number of festivals the orchestra has presented itself as the ambassador of modern plucked string music. As most leaders of the orchestra were at the same time composers they didn't hesitate to compose especially for 'their' orchestra. On top of that the Saarland Broadcasting Station had renowned composers writing for them. The best recordings of which can be found on the latest two CDs.

The double CD "Streifzüge" - in honour of the 40th anniversary of the SZO (Saarland plucked string orchestra) displays the most successful interpretations of compositions of variuos musical epochs under the leadership of such renowned men as S. Behrend, M. Wengler, H. Fackler and R. Stutz, recorded for the SR ( Saarland Broadcasting Station).

The latest CD published in 1996 is dedicated to the composer Heinrich Konietzny who being the leader in the prime years kept writing significant compositions for 'his' orchestra.

The last CD - called Impressionen - reveals that a plucked string orchestra can well equal a symphonic orchestra in sound. There will be classical works along with romantic ones with the orchestra being assisted by windplayers, harp, piano and percussions.

The Saarland plucked string orchestra plays a lot of concerts every year in Germany and the european countries. It gets invitations to all important festivals of plucked music i.e. festivals in Sweden, Spain, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, France and Luxemburg.

Furthermore the orchestra is a big promoter for the mandolin and guitar music in Germany in organizing festivals by itself. The booklet of our last festival can be seen here.

In Octobre 1998 the orchestra had its first concert tour in the States. The ensemble was invited to give concerts at the University of Southwestern Louisiana , to give concerts in Fredericksburg TX, Weimar TX, Los Angeles CA, Glendale CA  (more pictures here) . In Octobre 2002 the second concert tour in California will start.

The orchestra has prepared a concert program called "Spanish night" with compositions from Tango to Spirituals.