There are two orchestras based in Munich -
Symphonie-Orchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks - The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Münchner Rundfunkorchester - The Munich Radio Orchestra
A precursor ensemble to the Munich Radio Orchestra was established in the 1920s. The current Munich Radio Orchestra was formalised in 1952, with Werner Schmidt-Boelke as its first chief conductor. The orchestra's focus has historically been on light music, with particular emphasis in its early years as an orchestra for operettas. The orchestra was also historically known for its Sunday concerts.
From the chief conductorship of Lamberto Gardelli (1982-1985) onwards, the orchestra expanded its repertoire into opera, specifically Italian opera. This work continued under the orchestra's next three chief conductors, all Italians, Giuseppe Patanè (1988–1989), Roberto Abbado (1992–1998), and Marcello Viotti (1998–2005). This activity extended to commercial recordings of operas and opera excerpts with the orchestra's chief conductors.